Politics and Government

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  • Report

    The Top Reason School Superintendents Are Stressed? Politics.

    Nearly 80 percent of superintendents reported that their jobs were “often” or “always” stressful. And they most commonly cited the intrusion of political issues or opinions into schooling as a source of that stress.

    Jul 12, 2023

  • Commentary

    Prospects for Bipartisanship in a Divided Country

    Political polarization affects democracy and discourse about public policy. But a series of workshops with diverse stakeholders discussing sensitive policy issues found that Americans from different demographic, economic, political, professional, and social backgrounds can reach consensus.

    Jan 19, 2023

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  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Shared Cultural Ancestry Predicts the Global Diffusion of Democracy

    Countries with shared linguistic and religious ancestry have similar democracy outcomes.

    Nov 4, 2022

  • Protesters chant at a vigil for Mahsa Amini at the entrance hall of the Khajeh Nasir Toosi University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, in this screengrab from a social media video released October 26, 2022, photo via Reuters

    Commentary

    The Iran Protests: A Crossroads in Governance?

    Iran has seen large-scale protests in response to the death of Mahsa Amini, who died in the custody of the Iranian morality police in September. But are these protests the spark that will usher in a democratic form of governance in Iran?

    Nov 4, 2022

  • China's President Xi Jinping speaks ahead of the 25th anniversary of the former British colony's handover to Chinese rule, in Hong Kong, China, June 30, 2022, photo by Selim Chtayti/Pool/Reuters

    Commentary

    Xi Jinping Is Weaker Than You Think

    Although Xi wields significant influence over Chinese domestic politics—certainly more than his most recent predecessors—he still needs support from the Party elite. And on that front, some cracks are showing.

    Oct 14, 2022

  • A counterprotester displays a sign to those protesting COVID-19 restrictions in Annapolis, Maryland, April 18, 2020, photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Sipa USA/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19's Biggest Casualty May Be Governability

    Pandemics fuel pre-existing prejudices, deepen social divisions, and increase political tensions. As the United States heads into the midterm elections, the parties should be prepared to face headwinds whichever side emerges with control of Congress. COVID-19's biggest political casualty might be governability.

    Oct 11, 2022

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Russia, December 23, 2021, photo by Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

    Commentary

    Will Putin's War in Ukraine Continue Without Him?

    Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, there has been ongoing deliberation about how long Putin will remain in power. But the West should not assume a change of leadership would result in an end to the war, at least in the short term, as Putin's war could very well continue without Putin.

    Oct 10, 2022

  • Signs proclaiming a gun-free zone at an entrance point to Times Square, in New York City, September 1, 2022, photo by Richard B. Levine/Reuters

    Commentary

    Facts Still Matter, Even If the Court Signals Otherwise

    The Supreme Court's recent decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen threatens to render decades of scientific studies legally irrelevant. But there is still room for research to inform court decisions about firearm regulations.

    Oct 4, 2022

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting in the city of Veliky Novgorod, Russia, September 21, 2022, photo by Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    Regime Change in Russia?

    A careful strategy of strength and prudence has helped the West maintain security and manage relations with Moscow. The West may continue this course while upping the ante to help Ukraine defeat and expel Russian forces. In so doing, the West may also be advancing prospects for longer-term peace that might come only through liberalization in Russia.

    Sep 21, 2022

  • The U.S. Supreme Court at dusk, in Washington, D.C., August 7, 2022, photo by Graeme Sloan/Reuters

    Commentary

    State Gun Regulations Are a Messy Patchwork. The Supreme Court's Bruen Decision Won't Help

    The Supreme Court's decision may not actually narrow the policy gap between states sharply divided over their approach to regulating guns. Rather, its result may not look very different than what we have today—a patchwork of laws that often reflect political and policy demands of individual states.

    Aug 22, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Homelessness in L.A., Russia's Military Woes, Educator Morale: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on breaking the cycle of incarceration and homelessness, Russia’s ongoing military struggles, NATO expansion, and more.

    Aug 19, 2022

  • Russian service members ride an armoured vehicle in the Russian-held part of the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, July 23, 2022, photo by Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    Understanding Russia's Motivations, and Using Them

    The concept of ontological security could help explain Putin's war on Ukraine and his regime's reasoning. It's about maintaining a continuous sense of self, and in this case, of state identity. Putin may have deemed the invasion necessary to maintain a sense of continuity and order, where order is Russia's continued adversarial relationship with the West.

    Aug 19, 2022

  • Hong Kong, photo by Lewis Tse Pui Lung/Adobe Stock

    Report

    An Exploratory Examination of Agent-Based Modeling for the Study of Social Movements

    The authors of this report explore the use of agent-based modeling as a method for studying the effects of information and communications technologies on the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of social movements over time.

    Aug 16, 2022

  • A Board of Elections employee cleans a voting machine during early voting at the Brooklyn Museum in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, October 29, 2020, photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Report

    Securing U.S. Elections

    Election systems across U.S. states and jurisdictions are diverse in terms of governance and technology. How can state and local officials effectively assess and prioritize cybersecurity risk in the systems they oversee?

    Aug 16, 2022

  • Health care workers prepare to receive walk-up patients at a coronavirus testing center at UMC Hospital in Washington, April 6, 2020, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Commentary

    Learning, Relearning, and Not Learning the Lessons of COVID-19

    Recent announcements have demonstrated how little has been learned from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the potential need for a national reckoning to assess shortfalls and develop recommendations for preparing for and responding to future pandemics and other biological risks. The United States could create a national commission to develop a way forward.

    Aug 12, 2022

  • Jason Matheny, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation; Design by Kekeli Sumah/RAND Corporation

    Essay

    'The Future Could Be Brilliant': RAND's CEO Is an 'Apocaloptimist'

    Jason Matheny, RAND's new president and CEO, explains why he's cautiously optimistic about the future of humanity, the importance of public service, and RAND's role in shaping policy solutions.

    Aug 4, 2022

  • British Prime Minister Winston Churchill shaking hands with Secretary of State Dean Acheson in front of a world map, as Director W. Averell Harriman of the Mutual Security Agency (right) looks on, January 8, 1953, photo by U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

    Commentary

    The Irony of Misinformation: USIA Myths Block Enduring Solutions

    Unlike Russia and China, the U.S. government has failed to institutionalize the importance of information in foreign policy. The United States lacks formalized leadership structures to tackle information issues head on, and a central organization to coordinate activities to understand, inform, and influence foreign audiences.

    Jul 7, 2022

  • South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and U.S. President Joe Biden arrive for a state dinner at the National Museum of Korea, in Seoul, South Korea, May 21, 2022, photo by Lee Jin-man/Pool/Reuters

    Commentary

    Yoon Suk-yeol Is Biden's Perfect South Korea Partner

    Yoon Suk-yeol, South Korea's conservative new president, has shown that he is in lockstep with U.S. President Joe Biden on foreign policy. During Biden's Indo-Pacific trip in May, their conversations in the security domain suggest Yoon's overlapping tenure with Biden heralds a golden era in the U.S.-South Korea alliance.

    Jul 5, 2022

  • U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink and Ukraine's Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova visit Borodianka, in the Kyiv Region, Ukraine, June 4, 2022, photo by Edgar Su/Reuters

    Commentary

    Do Americans Know Who Their Diplomats Are? Or What They Do?

    Americans have a limited understanding of how diplomats are selected and how diplomacy interacts with other elements of the U.S. national security establishment. Efforts to better inform and engage the American public about the work of diplomacy and who American diplomats are would lead to a greater understanding of the job and its people.

    Jun 20, 2022

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosts a reception in recognition of Eid, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., May 26, 2022, photo by Freddie Everett/U.S. State Department

    Report

    How Do Americans View Diplomacy and Diplomats?

    A survey asked Americans what they think about diplomacy, the U.S. Foreign Service, and other officials who represent the nation abroad. Impressions were generally favorable, but some lacked understanding of what diplomats do, how they are selected, and the role of diplomacy in national security.

    Jun 8, 2022

  • Michael Leiter and Michael Rich at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C., March 23, 2022, photo by Jason Dixson Photography

    Announcement

    Endowed Chair to Advance Truth Decay Research Established in Honor of RAND President and CEO Michael D. Rich

    RAND supporters have contributed more than $4 million to endow a new chair to advance research aimed at countering Truth Decay—the diminishing role of facts and analysis in public life—while paying tribute to RAND President and CEO Michael D. Rich, who is stepping down this year after more than a decade at the institution's helm.

    Jun 3, 2022

  • Jessica Cecil listens as Mark Thompson speaks at the RAND Europe Council of Advisors meeting in London, UK, May 6, 2022, video still from RAND Europe Council of Advisors meeting

    Blog

    Combating Disinformation by Bolstering Truth and Trust

    For Jessica Cecil, founder and former head of the Trusted News Initiative, today feels a bit like the Dark Ages after the fall of the Roman Empire, in which agreed-upon facts endure in only a few isolated places of elite discussion and there is no common language of politics. She spoke about the need for governments, companies, news organizations, and relevant civil society groups to work together to combat disinformation at a meeting of RAND Europe's Council of Advisors.

    May 24, 2022