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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Publications

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Journal Articles

Consequences of Authoritarian Party Exit and Reinvention for Democratic Competition

Anna Grzymala-Busse
Comparative Political Studies , 2020

How do the successors to authoritarian ruling parties influence subsequent democratic party competition? The existing literature does not distinguish among these parties, nor does it differentiate among the distinct strategies of their adaptation to the collapse of authoritarian rule. As a result, the impact of these parties on democracy has been unclear and difficult to discern.

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Journal Articles

“Nash-in-Nash” tariff bargaining

Kyle Bagwell, Robert W. Staiger, Ali Yurukoglu
Journal of International Economics , 2020

We provide an equilibrium analysis of the efficiency properties of simultaneous bilateral tariff negotiations in a three-country model of international trade. We consider the setting in which discriminatory tariffs are allowed, and we utilize the “Nash-in-Nash” solution concept of Horn and Wolinsky (1988). We allow for a general family of political-economic country welfare functions and assess efficiency relative to these welfare functions.

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Commentary

CNN Perspective with Andy Grotto: Why unlocking Apple iPhones for law enforcement isn't the answer

Andrew Grotto, Andrew Grotto
2020

Despite pressure from President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr, Apple continues to stand its ground and refuses to re-engineer iPhones so law enforcement can unlock the devices. Apple has maintained that it has done everything required by law and that creating a "backdoor" would undermine cybersecurity and privacy for iPhone users everywhere.

Apple is right to stand firm in its position that building a "backdoor" could put user data at risk.

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Working Papers

Engaging, Empowering, and Enabling Youth to Lead Social Action in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro

Beatriz Magaloni, Veriene Melo
2020

This study is the result of over four years of active collaboration between the Poverty, Violence and Governance Lab (PovGov) and the Rio-based NGO Agency for Youth Networks (hereafter, Agency). What began in 2012 as an informal conversation between PovGov researchers and the program’s founder and director, Marcus Faustini, led to a solid partnership that has produced not only this research but also opportunities for engagement through events both in California and in Rio de Janeiro.

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Journal Articles

Public Good Provision and Traditional Governance in Indigenous Communities in Oaxaca, Mexico

Beatriz Magaloni, Alberto Díaz-Cayeros, Alexander Ruiz Euler
2020

Can ethnically distinct communities ruled through “traditional” assemblies provide public goods and services better, than when they are ruled by leaders elected through “modern” multiparty elections? We exploit a unique institutional feature in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, where municipalities are ruled by traditional governance institutions, to explore the effect of these forms of governance on the provision of public goods. Using locality-level census data, we study the provision of local public goods through a geographic discontinuity approach.

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Journal Articles

The Internet’s Challenge to Democracy: Framing the Problem and Assessing Reforms

Nathaniel Persily, Nathaniel Persily
2019

The Program on Democracy and the Internet runs the work of the Kofi Annan Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age which will produce guidelines to support democracies, particularly those of the global south. 

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Journal Articles

Macron Versus the Yellow Vests

Patrick Chamorel
Journal of Democracy , 2019

Since November 2018, a grassroots revolt of the forgotten lower middle classes from France’s far-flung suburbs and rural areas has risen against high taxes; social injustice; and the elites, President Emmanuel Macron foremost among them. Although this “Yellow Vest” movement is not dead, it is now weakened by internal feuds, excessive violence, a takeover by the far left, and Macron’s deft handling. Yet this revolt of “la France profonde” has underscored the fragility of Macron’s narrow sociological and political base.

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Journal Articles

AI Policy and China: Realities of State-Led Development

Andrew Grotto, Graham Webster
2019

When China's government announced its ambitions for the country’s theoretical, technological, and applied artificial intelligence development to reach a “worldleading level” by 2030, governments and markets worldwide took notice. So did DigiChina. The New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan (AIDP), drafed by experts across China’s bureaucracy and issued by the State Council in July 2017, was one of this nascent project's first major translations.

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White Papers

Evidence of Russia-Linked Influence Operations in Africa

Shelby Grossman, Daniel Bush, Renee DiResta
2019

Russia’s global strategy for reasserting itself as a geopolitical superpower has led to an increased presence in Africa, where it has broadened efforts to shape the continent’s politics and pursue new economic opportunities to allay the effects of sanctions.

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Working Papers

Compete, Contest and Collaborate: How to Win the Technology Race with China

Anja Manuel, Pavneet Singh, Thompson Paine
2019

Bios: Anja ManuelPavneet Singh, Thompson Paine

China systematically extracts advanced technology from the West. It does so legally, by mining open source databases, investing in our most advanced companies, and compelling technology transfer as a condition for doing business in China, as well as illicitly, through cybertheft and industrial espionage.

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Working Papers

Semiconductors and a Strategic National Technology Policy

Mark Long
2019

The current regulatory and legislative infrastructure is poorly suited to address the new challenges to U.S. leadership and innovation in key technology sectors. This paper uses the semiconductor industry as a case study to advance a proposal for a strategic approach to technology policy capable of enabling long-term leadership. This proposal, rooted in structural changes to the federal technology policymaking process, would allow the United States to respond more effectively to strategic technology policymaking of China and other rising economic competitors.

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Journal Articles

The Failure of Europe's Mainstream Parties

Anna Grzymala-Busse
Journal of Democracy , 2019

The failure of mainstream political-party competition fueled the rise of populism in Europe. Popular anxieties about immigration, economics, or cultural change are not sufficient to explain the surge in populist support. Mainstream parties on both the center-left and the center-right have failed to represent constituencies, to articulate their needs, and to propose distinct policy solutions. The center-left has abandoned its traditional social-policy commitments, and the center-right has often failed to contain xenophobes and nativists.

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Case Studies

Water, Water Everywhere? Devolution and the Water Sector in Kenya's Counties

Jason Lakin with Kamotho Waiganjo
2019

As of 2009, at the time of Kenya’s last census, roughly half the population lacked access to clean water. The shortage was more pronounced in the nation’s northern, arid counties.  This case looks at the challenges and choices facing one northern county, Garissa County, where Issa Oyow, County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Water and Sanitation, tried to meet citizen demands for increased water access in the face of a complex and incomplete decentralization process.

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Journal Articles

Symposium on Global Populisms and the European Experience

Anna Grzymala-Busse
Polity , 2019

The introduction to this symposium provides a working definition of populist parties and movements and then examines the rise in their support in Europe and the implications of populist rule. As does the symposium as a whole, it highlights the diversity of populisms, identifies the crisis of representation as a root cause of the populist rise, and examines the consequences of populist rule for formal institutions, informal norms of democracy, and representation itself.

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Journal Articles

Conclusion: The Global Forces of Populism

Anna Grzymala-Busse
Polity , 2019

Three themes emerge from this symposium. First, populism is largely shaped by (and is influencing) mainstream party political competition. Second, it has gained opportunities because of the economic policy decisions of governments regarding market reforms and liberal flows of labor and capital. Third, it is shaped by international forces such as the European Union. The symposium calls for further analyses of immigration, the fusion of cultural and economic threats, and what some call the “illiberal international.”

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Journal Articles

How Populists Rule: The Consequences for Democratic Governance

Anna Grzymala-Busse
Polity , 2019

Poland and Hungary are two European countries where populist parties govern without coalition partners. Such undiluted power has meant they could target the formal institutions of accountability—courts, news media, and oversight agencies—and the informal norms of democracy, including tolerance and forbearance, by attacking the opposition, dividing societies, and reconfiguring national memories to justify their policies. The result is the authoritarian backsliding of these post-communist democratic pioneers.

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Commentary

The Great Anti-China Tech Alliance

Andrew Grotto, Martin Schallbruch, Andrew Grotto
2019

In these early days of the regulatory renaissance for digital technologies, China, Europe, and the United States are competing over whose image will be most reflected in market-defining rules and norms. Despite new lows in the trans-Atlantic relationship in the era of Trump, Europe and the United States still have far more in common with each other about how technology should be developed, deployed, and regulated than they do with China.

 

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Commentary

The west needs a positive response to China’s technology challenge

Anja Manuel, Anja Manuel
2019

Silicon Valley is belatedly waking up to the fact that China systematically extracts the most advanced technology from the west, using both legal and nefarious means.

Read more at The Financial Times

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Journal Articles

Knowledge Management for Self-Organised Resource Allocation

David Burth Kurka, Jeremy Pitt, Josiah Ober
ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems , 2019

Many instances of socio-technical systems in the digital society and digital economy require some form of self-governance. Examples include community energy systems, peer production systems, participatory sensing applications, and shared management of communal living areas or workspace. Such systems have several features in common, of which three are that they are rule-orientedself-organising, and value-sensitive, and in operation, this combination of features entails self-modification of the rules in order to satisfice a changeable set of values.

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Commentary

CNN Perspective: Our lax cybersecurity policies put our elections and our data at risk

Andrew Grotto
2019

Our national discussions about cybersecurity and privacy follow a frustrating pattern: a headline-grabbing incident like the recent Capital One breach occurs, Congress wrings its hands and policymakers more or less move on. So it is no surprise cybersecurity hasn't been much of a focus as the race to the 2020 presidential election heats up.

The issue is here to stay, and it should be debated by the candidates. Here are some concrete ideas that would significantly improve the safety and security of the nation — but require presidential leadership if they are to come to fruition.

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White Papers

Securing American Elections: Prescriptions for Enhancing the Integrity and Independence of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election and Beyond

Michael A. McFaul, Herbert Lin, Alex Stamos, Nathaniel Persily, Andrew Grotto, Allison Berke, Eileen Donahoe, Larry Diamond, Megan Metzger, Sergey Sanovich, Toomas Ilves, Zachary Krowitz, Christopher Painter
2019

This report urges policymakers, in both government and the private sector, to act immediately in order to protect the integrity and independence of U.S. elections, particularly in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, and recommends a number of actions in order to do so. This report was distributed at the launch of the new Cyber Policy Center on June 6th, 2019.

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