Skip to:



FSI's research on the origins, character and consequences of government institutions spans continents and academic disciplines. The institute’s senior fellows and their colleagues across Stanford examine the principles of public administration and implementation. Their work focuses on how maternal health care is delivered in rural China, how public action can create wealth and eliminate poverty, and why U.S. immigration reform keeps stalling. Looking more broadly at these issues, FSI’s Governance Project works on measuring the quality of governance and assessing a country’s ability to deliver public services.

FSI’s work includes comparative studies of how institutions help resolve policy and societal issues. Scholars aim to clearly define and make sense of the rule of law, examining how it is invoked and applied around the world. One project explores how authoritarian and democratic regimes can encourage or suppress economic development. Meanwhile, the European Governance project looks at governance issues on a single continent.

FSI researchers also investigate government services – trying to understand and measure how they work, whom they serve and how good they are. They assess energy services aimed at helping the poorest people around the world and explore public opinion on torture policies. The Children in Crisis project addresses how child health interventions interact with political reform. Specific research on governance, organizations and security capitalizes on FSI's longstanding interests and looks at how governance and organizational issues affect a nation’s ability to address security and international cooperation.

Recent Events

Records 24 / 2520

Media Literacy and Civic Confusion: Why What We're Teaching Adds to the Problem

May 10, 2018

Abstract:In the face of information pollution, legislators in seven states have drafted bills to mandate courses in "media literacy" and “digital citizenship.” But what if the problem is not the...

Inviting Intervention

April 19, 2018

Abstract:Foreign intervention sometimes enters by domestic invitation.

The Class of '74: Congress after Watergate and the Roots of Partisanship

April 12, 2018

Sponsor:  Bill Lane Center for the American West and Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law     Abstract: John A.

Navigation by Judgment: Why and When Top Down Management of Foreign Aid Doesn’t Work

April 5, 2018

Abstract:In Navigation by Judgment (Oxford University Press, 2018) I argue that high-quality implementation of foreign aid programs often requires contextual information that cannot be seen by...

At life’s frontiers: the case for epistemic subsidiarity

March 17, 2018

Abstract: International cooperation has long been founded on the idea that securing a common factual understanding of things in the world is a prerequisite for deciding how to act in concert....

Election Forensics Research: a Case of Russia

March 15, 2018

Abstract:Election forensics adds distinctive value to current efforts to promote the integrity of elections around the world by developing special forensic tools and techniques designed to detect...

Reflections on the Future of Ukraine

March 14, 2018

Please join visiting scholar Sviatoslav Vakarchuk and Mosbacher Director of CDDRL Francis Fukuyama for a conversation on Ukraine's future success.  


March 12, 2018

Abstract:The world is in turmoil. From India to Turkey and from Poland to the United States, authoritarian populists have seized power.

Eastern vs. Western Paradigms for Infrastructure Development

March 8, 2018

Speaker(s) Bio:Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and the Mosbacher Director of FSI's Center on Democracy,...

Voting Patterns in the European Parliament: Is the Structure of Political Conflict Changing?

March 6, 2018

In this paper we study the changing multi-dimensional structure of political (ideological) conflict in the European Parliament.

Nemtsov: Film Screening and Discussion with Filmmaker Vladimir Kara-Murza and Michael McFaul

March 6, 2018

Nemtsov is a documentary film about the late leader of the Russian opposition, directed by his friend and colleague Vladimir Kara-Murza. The film chronicles a remarkable political life.

Using Mass Media to Change Law Enforcement Norms on Human Trafficking in Nepal

March 1, 2018

Abstract:What are the e ffects of mass media campaigns on the norms and behaviors of police officers as pertains to human tra fficking?

Business associations and local taxation in Southeast Asia

February 22, 2018

Abstract:At their best, decentralizing reforms make government more accountable to citizens and empower local governments to invest in their own development.

Digital transformation of democracy? Challenges and Opportunities

February 20, 2018

In this talk we will discuss the challenges and opportunities of various digital initiatives and their potential to affect democracy.

Foreign Adversary Threats to Democratic Institutions: Are Courts Next?

February 15, 2018

- This event is offered as a joint sponsorship with the Hoover Institution - Abstract: Russia’s interference in our election was part of an ongoing campaign to undermine democracy and its...

Authoritarian Populism and Youth in Turkey

February 14, 2018

Abstract:While populism takes different forms in different countries, the success of populist parties and leaders comes from their ability to represent grievances.

Return Migrants as Skilled Labor: The Case of Transnational Korean New Zealander Returnees

February 12, 2018

Transferring knowledge and skills through skilled labor has become a critical topic in contemporary migration studies.

History of U.S.-Japan Relations

February 9, 2018

Symposium on "History of US-Japan Relations"March 6, 2018Philippines Conference RoomShorenstein Asia Pacific Research Center (Stanford University) Program9:00am     Registration and Breakfast 9...

"How's (our) Democracy? Compared to What?"

February 8, 2018

Abstract:Fukuyama (1989) was right: a centuries-old argument about government should be over. Liberal democracy is the best regime known to us.

Two Neighbors: India and China; an Indian Perspective

February 7, 2018

In this talk, Nirupama Rao, the former Indian Foreign Secretary, will address the current relationship between India and China in the light of her three-and-a-half decades of experience dealing...

Relapse Symptoms: the Rise of Authoritarianism in Thailand

February 6, 2018

After the Cold War, Thailand became a poster child of democratizing processes in Southeast Asia.

Keynote | Communist Century: New Studies in Revolution, Resistance and Radicalism

February 1, 2018

Keynote: Thursday, February 8, 20186:00pmStanford Alumni Center, Fisher Conference Center, 326 Galvez St.

Conference | The Communist Century: New Studies in Revolution, Resistance and Radicalism

February 1, 2018

Conference Agenda:Friday, February 9, 20189:00am - 5:30pmStanford Alumni Center, Fisher Conference Center, 326 Galvez St.9:00-9:30 am: Breakfast9:30-9:45 am: Introductory Remarks9:45-10:45 am:...

Will Liberal Democracy Survive the 21st Century?

January 31, 2018

Sponsored by: Stanford University Libraries, Hoover Institution,Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law Even before the 2016 election campaign, political polarization and filter...


Hesham Sallam Research Scholar
Eileen Donahoe Adjunct Professor, CDDRL
Stephen J. Stedman Senior Fellow, Professor, by courtesy, Political Science
Image of Christophe Crombez Christophe Crombez Senior Research Scholar Senior Research Scholar, TEC
Erik Jensen Senior Research Scholar Professor of the Practice, Law
Jeremy M. Weinstein Senior Fellow Professor, Political Science
Xueguang Zhou Senior Fellow Professor, Sociology
Lisa Blaydes Senior Fellow Associate Professor, Political Science
Francis Fukuyama Senior Fellow
Herb Lin Herbert Lin Senior Research Scholar
Marcel Fafchamps Senior Fellow Professor, by courtesy, Economics
Jerry Kaplan Adjunct Professor