Governance

Addressing issues of democracy, dictatorship, corruption and poverty, our scholars and practitioners produce expert research and train civil society activists around the world.

Research Spotlight

Global Populisms and Their Challenges

A white paper by the Stanford Global Populisms Project finds that established mainstream political parties are the key enablers of populist challenges—and the key solution.
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Protecting Electoral Integrity In the Digital Age

Today, free and fair elections, the primary expression of democratic will for collective government, are far from guaranteed in many countries around the world. Protecting them will require a new set of policies and actions from technological platforms, governments, and citizens.

30 Years of World Politics: What Has Changed?

Francis Fukuyama argues that sustaining democracy will require rebuilding the legitimate authority of the institutions of liberal democracy, while resisting those powers that aspire to make nondemocratic institutions central.

Featured Scholars

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Larry Diamond

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
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Larry Diamond

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science and Sociology
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Anna Grzymala-Busse

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
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Anna Grzymala-Busse

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Director of The Europe Center
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Didi Kuo

Senior Research Scholar
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Didi Kuo

Senior Research Scholar
Associate Director for Research at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law
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Stephen Stedman

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
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Stephen Stedman

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Deputy Director at the Center on Democracy Development and the Rule of Law

Upcoming Events

See all upcoming events related to our research on governance.

Publications

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Book

Andray Abrahamian
2020

In 2010, while working on a PhD in South Korea, Andray Abrahamian visited the other Korea, a country he had studied for years but never seen. He returned determined to find a way to work closely with North Koreans. Ten years and more than thirty visits later, Being in North Korea tells the story of his experiences helping set up and run Choson Exchange, a non-profit that teaches North Koreans about entrepreneurship and economic policy.

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Book

Donald K. Emmerson
2020

Southeast Asia is arguably the most diverse region in the world. Accordingly, rather than addressing the exact same question, the contributors to this volume have — as experts on Southeast Asia-China relations — explored the matters they see as most important and most deserving of exploration and exposure. After the editor’s introduction, the chapters proceed in pairs. Each pair and a closing chapter cover a distinctive theme in Southeast Asia’s interactions with China.

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Working Paper

Marshall Burke, Anne Driscoll, Jennifer Burney, Sam Heft-Neal, Jenny Xue, Michael Wara
The National Bureau of Economic Research, 2020

Recent dramatic and deadly increases in global wildfire activity have increased attention on the causes of wildfires, their consequences, and how risk from fire might be mitigated. Here we bring together data on the changing risk and societal burden of wildfire in the US. We estimate that nearly 50 million homes are currently in the wildland-urban interface in the US, a number increasing by 1 million houses every 3 years.

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Journal Article

Marshall Burke, Sam Heft-Neal
Nature Sustainability, 2020

Estimation of pollution impacts on health is critical for guiding policy to improve health outcomes. Estimation is challenging, however, because economic activity can worsen pollution but also independently improve health outcomes, confounding pollution–health estimates. We leverage variation in exposure to local particulate matter of diameter <2.5 μm (PM2.5) across Sub-Saharan Africa driven by distant dust export from the Sahara, a source uncorrelated with local economic activity.

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Working Paper

Sungchul Park, Hansoo Ko
Asia Health Policy Program working paper # 59, 2020

Effective as of July 1, 2018, South Korea set a new cap on employees’ weekly working hours, decreasing the maximum number from 68 to 52. In this study, we comprehensively analyze the effectiveness of the law’s implementation by observing changes in work time, health status, health care utilization, health behavior, monthly expenses, and satisfaction between pre- and post-implementation periods (2014–2017 vs. 2019). We find evidence of both intended and unintended consequences—and, in this last category, some are beneficial and some not.

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Working Paper

Marjorie Pajaron
Asia Health Policy Program working paper # 58, 2020

COVID-19 presents humanity with not just a health crisis but also a governance crisis as leaders around the globe confront the challenges of stemming the spread of the virus. Various governments have responded in various ways to slow the transmission of the virus. Ideally, the leaders of a country should approach the crisis with a two-pronged attack. The first is to flatten the epidemic curve (epi curve), which is simply a graphical representation of the number of cases and date of onset of the illness, and the second is to raise or strengthen the capacity of the health system. 

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White Paper

Carly Miller, Vanessa Molter, Isabella García-Camargo, Renee DiResta, David Thiel, Alex Zaheer
2020
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Journal Article

Johanna Kalb, Didi Kuo
Michigan Law Review Online, 2020

American democracy is in trouble. Since the 2016 election, a sizable literature has developed that focuses on diagnosing and assessing the state of American democracy, most of which concludes that our system of government is in decline.[2] These authors point to the rise in party polarization, the increasingly bipartisan abandonment of the norms of the democratic process, the rise of populism, the degradation of the public sphere, and the proliferation of gerrymandered districts and voting restrictions to illustrate the breakdown.

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Journal Article

Christoph Graf, Federico Quaglia, Frank Wolak
Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, 2020

We show that the negative demand shock due to the COVID-19 lock-down has reduced net-demand system demand less the amount of energy produced by intermittent renewables and net imports that must be served by controllable generation units. Introducing additional intermittent renewable generation capacity will also reduce the net-demand, which implies the lock-down can provide insights about how electricity markets will perform with a large share of renewable generation capacity.

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Journal Article

Lei Wang, Ruirui Dang, Yu Bai, Siqi Zhang, Buyao Liu, Lijuan Zheng, Ning Yang, Chuyu Song
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 2020
In the preschool period, interactions between teachers and children are an essential input for healthy development. However, it is not well understood how the qualifications of preschool teachers contribute to child development during the preschool period, and previous international studies have returned mixed results. We drew on data from a longitudinal study of 1031 preschool children age 49–65 months in rural China to examine the associations between teacher qualifications and the development of preschool children. The findings showed that 36% of preschool children in the sample are developmentally delayed.Overall, teacher qualifications (education level, specialization in early childhood education, professional ranking, experience and training) were significantly associated with preschool-age child developmental outcomes. Teacher professional ranking and educational attainment were positively and significantly correlated with two measures of child language development, but a degree specialized in early child-hood education was negatively related to vocabulary acquisition. No significant correlations were found between teacher experience or teacher training and child developmental outcomes. The study concludes that policymakers should encourage highly educated and professionally ranked teachers to serve in rural preschools in order to improve the development of preschool children.
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Working Paper

Trevor L. Davis, Mark C. Thurber, Frank Wolak
Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, 2020

We report on an economic experiment that compares outcomes in electricity markets subject to carbon-tax and cap-and-trade policies. Under conditions of uncertainty, price-based and quantity-based policy instruments cannot be truly equivalent, so we compared three matched carbon-tax/cap-and-trade pairs with equivalent emissions targets, mean emissions, and mean carbon prices, respectively.

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Book

Karen Eggleston
2020
Life expectancy in Japan, South Korea, and much of urban China has now outpaced that of the United States and other high-income countries. With this triumph of longevity, however, comes a rise in the burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and hypertension, reducing healthy life years for individuals in these aging populations, as well as challenging the healthcare systems they rely on for appropriate care.  
 
The challenges and disparities are even more pressing in low- and middle-income economies, such as rural China and India.
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Journal Article

Anna Grzymala-Busse
Annual Review of Political Science, 2020

Where does the state come from? Two canonical answers have been interstate wars and contracts between rulers and the ruled in the early modern period. New scholarship has pushed back the historical origins of the European state to the Middle Ages, and focused on domestic institutions such as parliaments, universities, the law, inheritance rules, and cities. It has left open questions of the causes of territorial fragmentation, the structural similarities in state administrations, and the policy preoccupations of the state.

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Policy Brief

Frank Wolak
A Publication of the Hoover Institution, 2020

Californians like to think of themselves as environmentally conscious and forward-thinking. The state’s energy and environmental policies reflect these sentiments. With the passage of SB 100, California has one of the nation’s most ambitious renewable energy goals for its electricity supply industry. The California Solar Initiative rebate program has led to more rooftop solar capacity in the state than the total rooftop solar capacity installed in the next eight highest-capacity states.

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Working Paper

Xuan Thi Thanh Le, Phuong Thi Ngoc Nguyen, Toan Thi Thanh Do, Thang Huu Nguyen, Huong Thi Le, Cuong Tat Nguyen, Giang Hai Ha, Chi Linh Hoang, Bach Xuan Tran, Carl A. Latkin, Roger C.M. Ho, Cyrus S.H. Ho
Asia Health Policy Program working paper # 57, 2020

The intention to pay for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among women of childbearing age in Vietnam, where cervical cancer remains a significant public health concern, has been mostly lacking. To examine this issue, we conducted a cross-sectional study of 807 pregnant women in an urban and a rural district (Dong Da and Ba Vi) of Hanoi, Vietnam. The vast percentage of our respondents expressed a firm intention to vaccinate, especially women in rural areas (over 90.0%).

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Journal Article

Manuel Amador, Kyle Bagwell
Games and Economic Behavior, 2020

This paper uses a Lagrangian approach to provide sufficient conditions under which money burning expenditures are used in an optimal delegation contract. For comparison, we also establish simple sufficient conditions for the optimality of a cap allocation under a restricted set of preferences for a benchmark setting in which money burning is not allowed. We also apply our findings to a model of cooperation and to a model with quadratic preferences and families of distribution functions. In addition, we provide several comparative statics results.

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Journal Article

Anna Grzymala-Busse
East European Politics and Societies, 2020

A weasel word is a term used in academic or political discourse whose meaning is so imprecise or badly defined that it impedes the formulation of coherent thought on the subject to which it is applied, or leads to unsubstantiated conclusions. In this symposium we consider several key terms central to the study of postcommunist politics and discuss the extent to which they fall into this category. The terms discussed here include regime terminology, the notion of postcommunism, the geographic entity “Eurasia,” socialism, populism, and neoliberalism.

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Working Paper

Jiyong Eom, Frank Wolak
Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, 2020

Small businesses are typically committed to providing a positive customer experience and therefore may exhibit a response to dynamic electricity prices different from residential or industrial customers. We conduct a field experiment to determine the extent to which small businesses respond through re-configuration of typical routines throughout the experiment period versus through adjustments to specific dynamic pricing events.

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Journal Article

Christoph Graf, Frank Wolak
Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, 2020

An increasing number of wholesale electricity markets employ locational pricing mech­anisms where energy prices account for some or all aspects of the transmission network configuration. A major concern of regulators is that suppliers may have the ability to exercise unilateral market power by impacting the extent to which transmission con­straints bind. We extend the residual demand curve as a measure of the ability to exercise unilateral market power from a single price market to residual demand hyper­surfaces in locational pricing markets.

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Journal Article

Yujuan Gao, Derek Hu, Evan Peng, Cody Abbey, Yue Ma, Chyi-In Wu, Chia-Yuan Chang, Wei-Ting Hung, Scott Rozelle
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2020
Previous studies reflect a high prevalence of depressive symptoms among Taiwanese adolescents (ages 13–18), but there is an absence of literature related to the risk of depression of children in Taiwan (ages 6–12), particularly among potentially vulnerable subgroups. To provide insight into the distribution of depressive symptoms among children in rural Taiwan and measure the correlation between academic performance, we conducted a survey of 1655 randomly selected fourth and fifth-grade students at 92 sample schools in four relatively low-income counties or municipalities. Using the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) we assessed the prevalence of depressive symptoms in this sample, in addition to collecting other data, such as performance on a standardized math test as well as information on a number of individual and household characteristics. We demonstrate that the share of children with clinically significant symptoms is high: 38% of the students were at risk of general depression (depression score ≥ 16) and 8% of the students were at risk of major depression (depression score > 28). The results of the multivariate regression and heterogeneous analysis suggest that poor academic performance is closely associated with a high prevalence of depressive symptoms. Among low-performing students, certain groups were disproportionately affected, including girls and students whose parents have migrated away for work. Results also suggest that, overall, students who had a parent who was an immigrant from another country were at greater risk of depression. These findings highlight the need for greater resource allocation toward mental health services for elementary school students in rural Taiwan, particularly for at-risk groups. 
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Working Paper

Gregory Falco, Martin Eling, Danielle Jablanski, Virginia Miller, Lawrence A. Gordon, Shaun Shuxun Wang, Joan Schmit, Russell Thomas, Mauro Elvedi, Thomas Maillart, Emy Donavan, Simon Dejung, Matthias Weber, Eric Durand, Franklin Nutter, Uzi Scheffer, Gil Arazi, Gilbert Ohana, Herbert Lin
The 2019 Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (WEIS), 2020

A Research Agenda for Cyber Risk and Cyber Insurance

By: Gregory Falco, Stanford University

Martin Eling, University of St. Gallen

Danielle Jablanski, Stanford University

Virginia Miller, Stanford University

Lawrence A. Gordon, University of Maryland

Shaun Shuxun Wang, Nanyang Technological University

Joan Schmit, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Russell Thomas, RMS and George Mason University

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Journal Article

Christoph Graf, Federico Quaglia, Frank Wolak
Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, 2020

We extend the competitive benchmark pricing model of Borenstein et al. (2002) to locational-pricing markets. We further extent this model to account for transmis­sion network security constraints as well as technical constraints on thermal power plants that introduce non-convexities in their operating cost functions. We apply both models to assess the performance of the Italian wholesale electricity market for the year 2018.

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Working Paper

Yue Ma, Robert Fairlie, Prashant Loyalka, Scott Rozelle
The National Bureau of Economic Research , 2020
EdTech which includes online education, computer assisted learning (CAL), and remote instruction was expanding rapidly even before the current full-scale substitution for in-person learning at all levels of education around the world because of the coronavirus pandemic. Studies of CAL interventions have consistently found large positive effects, bolstering arguments for the widespread use of EdTech. However CAL programs, often held after school, provide not only computer-based instruction, but often additional non-technology based inputs such as more time on learning and instructional support by facilitators. In this paper, we develop a theoretical model to carefully explore the possible channels by which CAL programs might affect academic outcomes among schoolchildren. We isolate and test the technology-based effects of CAL and additional parameters from the theoretical model, by designing a novel multi-treatment field experiment with more than four thousand schoolchildren in rural China. Although we find evidence of positive overall CAL program effects on academic outcomes, when we isolate the technology-based effect of CAL (over and above traditional pencil-and-paper learning) we generally find small to null effects. Our empirical results suggest that, at times, the “Tech” in EdTech may have relatively small effects on academic outcomes, which has important implications for the continued, rapid expansion of technologies such as CAL throughout the world.
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