Afghani women protest

FSI Newsroom

FSI scholars offer expert analysis and commentary on contemporary global issues.


FSI Director Michael McFaul introduces President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a live video address on May 27, 2022.

FSI Director Michael McFaul Honored by the Government of Ukraine with State Award

In a show of appreciation for his support of Ukraine, Michael McFaul was awarded an Order of Merit by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
President Ronald Reagan shakes hands with Mikhail Gorbachev.

Reflections on Mikhail Gorbachev's Life from FSI Scholars

Rose Gottemoeller, Steven Pifer, Francis Fukuyama, and Michael McFaul discuss the complex life and legacy of the last leader of the Soviet Union.
Chinese soldier in Beijing

Assessing China’s Conventional and Unconventional Challenges to U.S. National Security

Oriana Skylar Mastro offers guidance on how to identify and understand the various strategic threats presented by the still-rising superpower.



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Kathryn Stoner
Larry Diamond, Kathryn Stoner, Erik Jensen and Francis Fukuyama at the opening session of the 2022 Draper Hills Fellows Program

Stanford summer fellowship crafts next generation of global leaders

News / August 23, 2022
The Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program reconvened in person for the first time, bringing budding leaders together with the world’s most influential democracy scholars.
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Lyubov Sobol, CDDRL Visiting Scholar 2022

CDDRL Welcomes Anti-Corruption Activist Lyubov Sobol as Visiting Scholar

News / May 2, 2022
Sobol will work alongside CDDRL faculty on projects related to the opposition movement in Russia today, human rights, and the rolling back of democracy in Russia.
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Some of the original Ukrainian alumni from the Draper Hills Summer Fellowship gather in Kyiv in 2013.

A History of Unity: A Look at FSI’s Special Relationship with Ukraine

News / April 4, 2022
Since 2005, the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies has cultivated rich academic ties and friendships with Ukrainian scholars and civic leaders as part of our mission to support democracy and development domestically and abroad.
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Book cover of Russia Resurrected and author Kathryn Stoner

U.S.-Russia Relations Book Prize Goes to Kathryn Stoner, Author of “Russia Resurrected: Its Power and Purpose in a New Global Order”

News / March 24, 2022
Kathryn Stoner is the recipient of the third annual book prize of the Fletcher U.S.-Russia Relations Initiative, presented by the Russia and Eurasia Program at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. The prize is for the outstanding work in her latest book, Russia Resurrected: Its Power and Purpose in a New Global Order (2021).
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Kathryn Stoner and Leopoldo López

Venezuelan opposition leader calls on students to fight for global freedom

News / March 3, 2022
Leopoldo López expressed fear about the global rise of a “network of autocracies." He encouraged Stanford students to champion democracy and freedom across the globe.
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Larry Diamond, center, with the Mosbacher family - Nancy, Bruce, Emily and Jack.

Larry Diamond Named Mosbacher Senior Fellow in Global Democracy at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

News / December 9, 2021
CDDRL’s Larry Diamond, a world-renowned expert on comparative democracy, is recognized for a career of impact on students, policymakers and democratic activists around the world.
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Oleksiy Honcharuk

Oleksiy Honcharuk Appointed the Bernard and Susan Liautaud Visiting Fellow

News / October 7, 2021
Honcharuk, formerly the prime minister of Ukraine, will focus on examining what Western allies can do to support Ukraine in its struggle to thrive as a democracy in Eastern Europe while at Stanford.
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Francis Fukuyama and Kathryn Stoner

Leadership Changes at CDDRL

Blogs / September 1, 2021
Welcoming Kathryn Stoner and reflecting on six years as Mosbacher Director of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law
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[Left] Kathryn Stoner; [Right] Encina Hall, Stanford University

Kathryn Stoner Named Mosbacher Director of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law

News / August 27, 2021
Stoner, a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy) at Stanford, will lead the Center’s efforts to understand how countries can overcome poverty, instability, and abusive rule to become prosperous societies.
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Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya discusses the future of democracy in Belarus with a roundtable of Stanford scholars.

Belarusian Leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya Meets with Stanford Scholars for Roundtable on Democracy in Belarus

News / August 4, 2021
Democratic leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and her delegation joined an interdisciplinary panel of Stanford scholars and members of the Belarusian community to discuss the future of democracy in Belarus.
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Flags of the United States and Russia

Stanford Experts Weigh In on What to Expect at the Biden-Putin Summit

News / June 14, 2021
Scholars at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies hope that President Joe Biden’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin will lay the groundwork for negotiations in the near future, particularly around nuclear weapons.
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Russia globe

Don’t underestimate Russia’s capabilities, influence on the global stage, says Stanford scholar

Q&As / February 2, 2021
Moscow is more capable of disrupting global world order than it is given credit for, Kathryn Stoner argues.
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Kathryn Stoner

Biden administration must find ways to both cooperate with and constrain Putin regime, says Stanford scholar

Q&As / January 28, 2021
In the first of a two-part Q&A, Stanford political scientist Kathryn Stoner discusses how Biden’s foreign policy in Russia is a departure from the Trump administration.
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Russia seeks to demonstrate military prowess in Syria, CDDRL scholar says

News / November 12, 2015

In a recent piece with Stanford News, FSI Senior Fellow Kathryn Stoner remarks on recent Russian military interventions in the Syrian conflict, suggesting that this re-engagement with the Middle East is a signal to Western powers of Putin's aim to become a global power. To read more, please click here

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Democracy and Reconciliation: Jerusalem conference and launch of The Europe Center

News / September 17, 2012
In the midst of the “Arab Spring”, and President Obama’s push for Palestinian-Israeli peace, The Europe Center (TEC) and the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute hosted a May 18-19 conference on “Democracy in Adversity and Diversity” in Jerusalem, the first of a sequence of conferences in TEC’s collaborative project on Reconciliation.
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CDDRL honors students recognized for outstanding theses

News / June 14, 2011

The Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) is pleased to announce that undergraduate senior honors student Yihana von Ritter was awarded The Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research for her outstanding thesis examining HIV/AIDS policy in Papua New Guinea. Von Ritter together with seven other students comprised the 2011 graduating class of CDDRL Undergraduate Honors Students.

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The myth of the authoritarian model: How Putin's crackdown holds Russia back

Commentary / September 24, 2008
The conventional explanation for Vladimir Putin's popularity is straightforward. In the 1990s, under post-Soviet Russia's first president, Boris Yeltsin, the state did not govern, the economy shrank, and the population suffered. Since 2000, under Putin, order has returned, the economy has flourished, and the average Russian is living better than ever before. As political freedom has decreased, economic growth has increased. Putin may have rolled back democratic gains, the story goes, but these were necessary sacrifices on the altar of stability and growth.
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McFaul, Stoner-Weiss editorial on the "myth of Putin's success" in IHT

Commentary / December 13, 2007
Vladimir Putin's designation of Dmitri Medvedev as his preferred successor should be more than enough for Medvedev to win the March presidential election in Russia by a landslide. Not surprisingly, he has already pledged to continue his mentor's policies and suggested that Putin become prime minister to ensure his continued involvement in ruling Russia.
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