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Governance

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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

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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.
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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

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Policy Briefs

Election 2020: Content Moderation and Accountability

Marietje Schaake, Rob Reich
2020

AS WE APPROACH THE 2020 ELECTION IN THE UNITED STATES, content moderation on social media platforms is taking center stage. From speech issues on Facebook and Twitter to YouTube videos and TikTok brigands, the current election season is being reshaped by curation concerns about what’s allowed online, what’s not, upranking and downranking, and who’s deciding.

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Journal Articles

Putin, Putinism, and the Domestic Determinants of Russian Foreign Policy

Michael A. McFaul
International Security , 2020

Why did Russia's relations with the West shift from cooperation a few decades ago to a new era of confrontation today? Some explanations focus narrowly on changes in the balance of power in the international system, or trace historic parallels and cultural continuities in Russian international behavior. For a complete understanding of Russian foreign policy today, individuals, ideas, and institutions—President Vladimir Putin, Putinism, and autocracy—must be added to the analysis.

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Policy Briefs

Election 2020: Social Media and Political Polarization

Marietje Schaake, Rob Reich
2020

THE EMERGENCE OF A DIGITAL SPHERE where public debate takes place raises profound questions about the connection between online information and polarization, echo chambers, and filter bubbles. Does the information ecosystem created by social media companies support the conditions necessary for a healthy democracy? Is it different from other media? These are particularly urgent questions as the United States approaches a contentious 2020 election during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Policy Briefs

Election 2020: Technology’s Role in Administering Democratic Elections

Marietje Schaake, Rob Reich
2020

THE 2020 ELECTION IN THE UNITED STATES will take place on November 3 in the midst of a global pandemic, economic downturn, social unrest, political polarization, and a sudden shift in the balance of power in the U.S Supreme Court. On top of these issues, the technological layer impacting the public debate, as well as the electoral process itself, may well determine the election outcome.

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Journal Articles

Political partisanship influences behavioral responses to governors’ recommendations for COVID-19 prevention in the United States

Soojong Kim
PNAS Journal , 2020

Voluntary physical distancing is essential for preventing the spread of COVID-19. We assessed the role of political partisanship in individuals’ compliance with physical distancing recommendations of political leaders using data on mobility from a sample of mobile phones in 3,100 counties in the United States during March 2020, county-level partisan preferences, information about the political affiliation of state governors, and the timing of their communications about COVID-19 prevention.

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White Papers

Bolivarian Factions: Facebook takes down inauthentic assets (TAKEDOWN)

Elena Cryst, Esteban Ponce de León, Daniel Suárez Pérez, Shelby Perkins, David Thiel
2020
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Journal Articles

Spatial Models, Legislative Gridlock, and Resource Policy Reform

Nathan Chael, Christophe Crombez, Pieterjan Vangerven
Annual Review of Resource Economics , 2020

This review evaluates the use of spatial models for the analysis of policymaking. First, we examine spatial theory and its applications in a variety ofinstitutional settings.

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Journal Articles

Hepatitis C Treatment in Prisons — Incarcerated People’s Uncertain Right to Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapy

Alexandra M. Daniels , David Studdert
New England Journal of Medicine , 2020

In a recent perspective published by the New England Journal of Medicine(NEJM), Stanford Law student Alexandra Daniels analyzed a growing body of federal litigation brought by prisoners with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) who are seeking access to treatment for their condition.

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Journal Articles

Multilateral Trade Bargaining: A First Look at the GATT Bargaining Records

Kyle Bagwell, Robert W. Staiger, Ali Yurukoglu
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics , 2020

This paper empirically examines recently declassified tariff bargaining data from the GATT/WTO. Focusing on the Torquay Round (1950–1951), we document stylized facts about these interconnected high-stakes international negotiations that suggest a lack of strategic behavior among the participating governments and an important multilateral element to the bilateral bargains.

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Commentary

Can China’s Military Win the Tech War?

Anja Manuel, Anja Manuel, Kathleen Hicks
2020

As the Chinese government has set out to harness the growing strength of the Chinese technology sector to bolster its military, policymakers in the United States have reacted with mounting alarm. U.S.

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Books

The Challenges and Opportunities for Social Media Research

Nathaniel Persily, Nathaniel Persily, Joshua Tucker
2020

Concluding Chapter of Social Media and Democracy: The State of the Field and Prospects for Reform (Cambridge Press, forthcoming September 2020)

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White Papers

Political Retweet Rings and Compromised Accounts: A Twitter Influence Operation Linked to the Youth Wing of Turkey’s Ruling Party (TAKEDOWN)

Shelby Grossman, Fazil Alp Akis, Ayça Alemdaroğlu, Josh A. Goldstein, Katie Jonsson, Isabella Garcia-Camargo, David Thiel, Alex Zaheer
2020
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White Papers

Sockpuppets Spin COVID Yarns: An Analysis of PRC-Attributed June 2020 Twitter takedown (TAKEDOWN)

Carly Miller, Vanessa Molter, Isabella Garcia-Camargo, Renee DiResta, David Thiel, Alex Zaheer
2020
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Commentary

How the West could win a technological ‘shadow war’ with China

Anja Manuel, Anja Manuel
2020

A new shadow war is underway within the International Telecommunication Union, one of the obscure organizations that sets global technical standards.

International standard-setting is a morass of positive intentions and poor execution. When the process works well, it selects the best technologies based on merit and, for example, allows people to use their personal cellphone numbers anywhere on Earth. When the system fails, we end up with different electrical outlets in each country and scramble for adapters.

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Journal Articles

Reassessing American Democracy: The Enduring Challenge of Racial Exclusion

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 Articles

Ethics and Governance for Digital Disease Surveillance

Michelle Mello, C. Jason Wang
Science Magazine , 2020

Digital epidemiology—the use of data generated outside the public health system for disease surveillance—has been in use for more than a quarter century [see supplementary materials (SM)]. But several countries have taken digital epidemiology to the next level in responding to COVID-19. Focusing on core public health functions of case detection, contact tracing, and isolation and quarantine, we explore ethical concerns raised by digital technologies and new data sources in public health surveillance during epidemics.

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Journal Articles

Thinking Globally, Acting Locally — The U.S. Response to Covid-19

Rebecca L. Haffajee, Michelle Mello
New England Journal of Medicine , 2020

Covid-19 has exposed major weaknesses in the United States’ federalist system of public health governance, which divides powers among the federal, state, and local governments. SARS-CoV-2 is exactly the type of infectious disease for which federal public health powers and emergencies were conceived: it is highly transmissible, crosses borders efficiently, and threatens our national infrastructure and economy. Its prevalence varies around the country, with states such as Washington, California, and New York hit particularly hard, but cases are mounting nationwide with appalling velocity.

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Journal Articles

Beyond War and Contracts: The Medieval and Religious Roots of the European State

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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Commentary

How to use the next stimulus to counter China

Anja Manuel, Anja Manuel, Stephen J. Hadley
2020

“Build back better” was the mantra New Orleans adopted after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. It should be our country’s motto as we work to recover from the economic and public health crises caused by covid-19.

Read more at The Washington Post

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Journal Articles

Weasel Words and the Analysis of “Postcommunist” Politics: A Symposium

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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