Religion and Civil Society

  • Lawmakers from India's main opposition Congress party and the Janata Dal (Secular) protest against India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader B.S. Yeddyurappa's swearing-in as Chief Minister of the southern state of Karnataka, in Bengaluru, India, May 17, 2018

    Commentary

    Politics in India—Not Business as Usual

    India's ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has suffered recent, self-inflicted electoral setbacks. But it is still the best-organized and richest political party in the country. Can opposing alliances defeat the BJP?

    Jun 19, 2018

  • Participants march on the street during Alilo, a religious procession to celebrate Orthodox Christmas in Tbilisi, Georgia, January 7, 2018

    Report

    Religion, Conflict, and Stability in the Former Soviet Union

    Religion is a visible force in the sociopolitical life of post-Soviet countries. Understanding how religion has contributed to peace or tensions in the region could inform policymakers and others working to bring stability to the former Soviet republics.

    Jan 15, 2018

  • Shi'ite worshippers attend Friday prayer in the Great Mosque of Kufa near Najaf, Iraq, March 31, 2017

    Report

    The Future of Sectarian Relations in the Middle East

    Sectarianism is shaping developments across the Middle East. But sectarianism is only one lens for understanding the region's conflicts, and some of its drivers are amenable to policy interventions.

    May 22, 2017

  • African American woman with hands raised in worship at a church service

    Research Brief

    The Role of Faith-Based Organizations in Addressing HIV

    In a series of collaborative studies, RAND researchers sought to better understand urban congregations' capacity for HIV prevention and care, specifically in the areas of stigma reduction and HIV testing.

    Apr 27, 2017

  • Journal Article

    Mutualistic Cooperation — Why Religion Is Common but Saints Are Rare

    This commentary on a larger focus article suggests that religion may improve wellness through mutualistic benefits that do not require truly altruistic cooperation and related cultural signaling systems.

    Jul 19, 2016

  • French soldiers patrol a Jewish neighborhood near a religious school and a synagogue as part of the highest level of 'Vigipirate' security plan

    Commentary

    Vive France's Defense of Its Jewish Citizens

    France is not the problem when it comes to defending Jewish lives and Jewish rights. With a few exceptions, the French state and nation have been stalwart on these issues, if only because the French government has understood that those who strike at Jews usually are striking at values dear to France.

    Feb 13, 2015

  • a demonstration in downtown Tunis, January 20, 2011

    Report

    Building Democracy on the Ashes of Authoritarianism in the Arab World

    In April, RAND and the International Strategic Research Organization convened a workshop in Istanbul, where policymakers, opinion leaders, and experts from Arab regions explored practical measures countries can adopt to build enduring democratic institutions and practices.

    Jul 29, 2013

  • President Thein Sein of Myanmar (Burma) shakes hands with President Barack Obama

    Commentary

    Obama's Burmese Gamble

    A year ago, the United States and Myanmar (Burma) did not even have ambassadors in each other's capitals. In May, President Thein Sein became the first leader from Myanmar to visit the White House in nearly a half-century. Has Obama's administration been too quick to embrace what was one of the world's most repressive regimes?

    Jul 11, 2013

  • stack of Egyptian election ballots

    Report

    Arab Spring Revolutions Have Not Yet Created Democracies, but Democratization Is Possible

    The Arab world is the one region that has been left out of the global trend toward greater embrace of democracy, but a successful shift from authoritarian regimes to democratic governments is possible there.

    Jul 9, 2013

  • Report

    Democratization in the Arab World: A Summary of Lessons from Around the Globe

    This report is an updated version of the summary section of Democratization in the Arab World: Prospects and Lessons from Around the Globe. It is largely the same as the summary published in 2012, but has been modified somewhat to reflect recent events.

    Jul 9, 2013

  • College students pass out free condoms at a health fair

    Commentary

    Can Catholic Colleges Block Free Condom Distribution?

    If this issue were to be decided on the basis of public health benefits, the outcome would be clear: Condoms indisputably prevent both unintended pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted infections, writes Chloe Bird.

    Apr 23, 2013

  • A man inks his finger after voting in Ciaro, Egypt.

    Blog

    New RAND Study Examines Voting Patterns in Post-Mubarak Egypt

    While much has been written on the electoral strength of Islamists in Egypt, most of the analysis has been done at the national level, ignoring regional divides within the country. A new report identifies the areas where Islamist parties run strongest, and the areas where non-Islamists are most competitive.

    Mar 22, 2013

  • U.S. President Barack Obama speaks alongside Nobel Peace Prize laureate and long-time opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at her residence in Yangon, Myanmar, November 19, 2012

    Commentary

    Obama and Myanmar (Burma): Four Points About Conflict There

    We can expect to see continued jockeying for scarce resources among vulnerable populations around the globe, attempts by majority communities to disenfranchise powerless minority groups, and episodes of extreme weather to blow away any notion that disasters—whether natural, man-made, or both—can't happen here, writes Jonah Blank.

    Nov 20, 2012

  • A woman wearing a headscarf

    Blog

    Headscarves on Egyptian Newscasts Are a Victory for Tolerance

    Lifting the Egyptian ban on headscarves on TV newscasts can be seen as a positive development. It ends state discrimination against those who wish to show their faith outwardly.

    Sep 6, 2012

  • Research Brief

    Prospects for Democratization in the Arab World (Arabic translation)

    Daunting challenges lie ahead for countries undergoing political transitions in the Arab world. Researchers identify the challenges these countries face and suggest policy approaches that may help foster enduring democracies.

    Aug 20, 2012

  • Celebrating that Mohamed Morsi has won the presidential elections - or/and that Shafik has lost

    Commentary

    How Does Arab Spring Compare to Third Wave Transitions?

    The changes underway in the Arab world may lead to various possible destinations that differ both from their points of departure and from liberal democracy, write Laurel Miller and Jeffrey Martini.

    Aug 17, 2012

  • People praying in a Sikh temple

    Commentary

    Victims of Terrorism-by-Mistaken-Identity

    Perpetrators of hate-crimes against Sikhs often think they're attacking Muslims. This may not make the slaughter any more or less heinous, but it's another example of hatred flowing from ignorance, writes Jonah Blank.

    Aug 8, 2012

  • News Release

    Arab Spring Revolutions Have Not Yet Created Democracies, but Democratization Is Possible

    The Arab world is the one region that has been left out of the global trend toward greater embrace of democracy, but a successful shift from authoritarian regimes to democratic governments is possible there.

    Jul 18, 2012

  • stack of Egyptian election ballots

    Report

    Arab Spring Revolutions Have Not Yet Created Democracies, but Democratization Is Possible

    The Arab world is the one region that has been left out of the global trend toward greater embrace of democracy, but a successful shift from authoritarian regimes to democratic governments is possible there.

    Jul 18, 2012

  • Research Brief

    Prospects for Democratization in the Arab World

    Daunting challenges lie ahead for countries undergoing political transitions in the Arab world. Researchers identify the challenges these countries face and suggest policy approaches that may help foster enduring democracies.

    Jul 18, 2012