Politics and Government

Featured

  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during the ceremony of the National Army Day parade in Tehran, Iran, September 22, 2019, photo by West Asia News Agency via Reuters

    Report

    Why Iran's Domestic Debates Should Matter to the United States

    Oct 9, 2019

    Iran's internal debates play a critical role in framing, molding, and selling foreign and security policies. Understanding areas of both consensus and division among Iranian elites is key to developing a realistic policy on Iran and ensuring successful engagement in any future negotiations.

  • Bomb blasts and artillery fire thundered across Baghdad as U.S. forces tightened their grip on the capital's fringes and brought up more troops, April 6, 2003, photo by Faleh Kheiber/Reuters

    Commentary

    Changing the Way America Goes to War

    Jun 25, 2019

    America's vast power, and the weakness of most of its enemies, has allowed it to get away with a striking absence of deliberative judgment when deciding on war, as the Iraq case makes clear. But that free pass is coming to an end. It's time for the United States to rethink the way it decides on wars of choice.

Explore Politics and Government

  • A man walks near the Shalamcha Border Crossing, after Iraq shut borders to travelers moving between Iraq and Iran, March 8, 2020, photo by Essam Al Sudani/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Effects on Strategic Dynamics in the Middle East

    The pandemic is sure to have transformational effects everywhere, and the Middle East is no exception. But it's unlikely that the crisis will lead to new regional strategic dynamics. Rather, it's more likely to reinforce existing and largely negative trend lines.

    Mar 26, 2020

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with public members in Sevastopol, Crimea March 18, 2020, photo by Alexei Druzhinin/Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia's Ties with the West Rhyme

    With Vladimir Putin seeking constitutional changes that could allow him to stay as president until the 2030s, Russia's strained relations with the West may persist. But if it chooses, Russia can chart a more dynamic future with closer Western ties.

    Mar 23, 2020

  • Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks during a state funeral of Zimbabwe's longtime ruler Robert Mugabe, Harare, Zimbabwe, September 14, 2019

    Commentary

    'New Zimbabwe' Looks an Awful Lot Like the Old One

    Zimbabwe's president Emmerson Mnangagwa promised a break from Mugabe's repressive rule and economic decline. To help support Zimbabwe's recovery, international actors would be wise to push the government to respect the country's 2013 constitution and push for genuine political, security, and economic reforms.

    Mar 11, 2020

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to a question as he attends an annual VTB Capital "Russia Calling!" Investment Forum in Moscow, Russia, November 20, 2019, photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    Wake-Up Call for Russia

    Deteriorating living standards have put Russians on edge, and fears of economic stagnation have risen. Russia has the capacity to do better. So why is the economy stagnating?

    Mar 9, 2020

  • Voters wait in line to cast their ballot in the Democratic primary at a polling station in Houston, Texas, March 3, 2020, photo by Callaghan O'Hare/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Coronavirus Election? Look to the Bottom of the Ticket

    As the coronavirus spreads in communities, it will be mayors, county judges, and school superintendents—not federal officials—who make the tough calls about whether to declare a state of emergency or shutter public schools and other institutions.

    Mar 9, 2020

  • President Faure Gnassingbe and Presidential candidate of UNIR (Union for the Republic) winner of the presidential election speaks in front of his supporters at his headquarters in Lome, Togo, February 24, 2020, photo by Luc Gnago/Reuters

    Commentary

    Family Matters: More of the Same in Togo

    Faure Gnassingbe was reelected in February to a fourth term as president of Togo. The result was no surprise. Due to the stacked system he and his father built, Faure is likely to rule until 2030 or beyond.

    Mar 6, 2020

  • Panelists discuss how media organizations can help address "Truth Decay," the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life, at the RAND Corporation office in Santa Monica, CA, February 25, 2020, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Blog

    How the Media Can Help Fight Truth Decay

    "Truth Decay" is the diminishing role of facts and analysis in U.S. public life. As part of this phenomenon, Americans are losing faith in once-trusted sources of information, including the news. What could media organizations do to address this?

    Feb 25, 2020

  • RAND leaders and media experts speak at a “Truth Decay and the Media” panel on February 20, 2020 at RAND's Santa Monica headquarters.

    Multimedia

    How the Media Can Help Fight Truth Decay

    Truth Decay is the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life. As part of this phenomenon, Americans are losing faith in once-trusted sources of information, including the news. How might media organizations address this?

    Feb 20, 2020

  • Blog

    Infectious Diseases, Zimbabwe, Students with Disabilities: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the U.S. response to infectious diseases, Zimbabwe after Mugabe, the support for students with disabilities, and more.

    Feb 14, 2020

  • Taiwan Vice President-elect William Lai and incumbent Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen celebrate at a rally after their election victory in Taipei, Taiwan, January 11, 2020, photo by Tyrone Siu/Reuters

    Commentary

    Where Does China's 'One Country, Two Systems' Stand in 2020?

    Hong Kong and Macau live under “one country, two systems,” and China aspires to include Taiwan in the future as well. But President Tsai Ing-wen's landslide re-election in Taiwan on January 11 resoundingly demonstrates that the arrangement is dead on arrival there.

    Feb 13, 2020

  • President Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu hold a joint news conference to discuss the Peace to Prosperity proposal in Washington, January 28, 2020, photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Commentary

    Peace with the Region Is Not a Peace Plan

    Acceptance of Israel from the broader Arab world will not resolve the dilemma of how the Israelis and the Palestinians can agree to live on the same land together. A viable plan for the future, one that is about real peace and not a one-sided political gambit, must recognize these realities.

    Feb 13, 2020

  • Blog

    Civic Engagement and Health, the State of the Union, Better Sleep: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the link between civic engagement and health, policy insights from the State of the Union address, what couples can do to improve their sleep, and more.

    Feb 7, 2020

  • Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa is escorted by a guard of honour as he arrives for Independence Day celebrations in Harare, Zimbabwe, April 18, 2019, photo by Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

    Commentary

    Little Has Changed in Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe

    After decades in power, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was toppled via a military coup in November 2017. His successor Emmerson Mnangagwa promised a break from Mugabe's authoritarian rule and economic mismanagement. After two years in power, to what extent has Mnangagwa delivered on his promises? In short, it's bleak.

    Feb 7, 2020

  • Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, September 25, 2019, photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    Report

    Has Zimbabwe Changed Since Mugabe's Overthrow?

    After 37 years in power, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was toppled via a military coup in November 2017. His successor and former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, promised a break from authoritarian rule and economic mismanagement. Has he delivered?

    Feb 6, 2020

  • U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to deliver his third State of the Union address in Washington, D.C., February 4, 2020, photo by Doug Mills/Pool via Reuters

    Blog

    State of the Union 2020: Insights from RAND

    The final State of the Union address of President Trump's four-year term may be viewed through the lens of the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the evening. But the speech touched on a range of policy challenges that will remain, regardless of how politics play out in 2020.

    Feb 5, 2020

  • People leaving a polling place, wearing I Voted stickers, photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Civic Engagement and Keeping the Public Engaged in Public Health

    Civic engagement—activities like voting and volunteering—is essential for the health of democracy. A turn at the ballot box might also improve physical and mental health.

    Feb 4, 2020

  • A demonstrator holds a picture of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during a protest in Tehran, Iran, January 3, 2020, photo by Nazanin Tabatabaee/West Asia News Agency/Reuters

    Commentary

    Iran Claws Back Its Regional Influence

    Last year, Iran faced protests at home as well as in Iraq and Lebanon, where thousands rallied against Tehran's regional hegemony. But with its recent machinations and the fallout over the killing of Soleimani, Iran has succeeded in changing the regional conversation.

    Jan 17, 2020

  • Iraqi demonstrators carry pictures of people who were killed during ongoing anti-government protests in Nassiriya, Iraq, December 4, 2019, photo by Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

    Commentary

    Iraq at the Crossroads

    The protests gripping Iraq pose an extraordinary challenge to Baghdad's political leadership, which must move the country ahead or step aside. Unless it finds the will to compromise for the common good, the governing class could risk thrusting the country into civil war.

    Dec 18, 2019

  • U.S. soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division secure an area during Operation Mountain Sweep near Narizah, southeast of Kabul, Afghanistan, August 22, 2002, photo by Scott Schonauer/Stars & Stripes/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Post's Afghanistan Series

    The Washington Post series “The Afghanistan Papers” charges that “senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign.” As someone who was both an occasional participant in and frequent critic of the Bush and Obama administrations' Afghan policy deliberations, James Dobbins finds this charge considerably exaggerated.

    Dec 17, 2019

  • Journal Article

    The Cultural Foundations of Modern Democracies

    This article identifies which cultural values are closely coupled with changes in democracy across nations in the twentieth century, and tests whether changes in democracy precede or follow changes in cultural values.

    Dec 12, 2019