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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.

Scholarly Publications

Follow the Leader

March 2018

A year into the Trump Administration, the health and stability of American democracy remain an open question.

International Isolation and Regional Inequality: Evidence from Sanctions on North Korea

February 2018

This paper examines how the spatial distribution of economic activity evolved within North Korea during a period of economic sanctions.

Government guaranteed small business loans and regional growth

February 2018

This paper examines the impact of government guaranteed small business loans on regional growth.

Other Publications

Andrew Grotto Testimony on "Cybersecurity and California Elections"

March 2018

To assess the threat to California's elections systems, the Assembly and Senate elections committees held a joint informational hearing on cybersecurity. The hearing discussed steps California...

Global Europe: Rethinking migration, democracy, and what sustains Europe at home at abroad

December 2017

The "Brexit" has been seen as a major blow that changes the future of Europe, at the time when nationalist and separatist movements seem most ascendant, and the EU seems to be the toxic subject for...

'Locked-In' to China: The Colombo Port City Project

October 2017

This case looks at the predicament of a small nation burdened by Chinese debt, accumulated by infrastructure projects under the aegis of China’s One Belt One Road initiative.


Are People Losing Faith in Democracy?

March 2018

"Are people merely punishing incumbent parties and politicians, or are they losing faith in democracy itself?" asks Larry Diamond in The American Interest. Read the full article here.

Andrew Grotto Testifies on "Cybersecurity and California Elections"

March 2018

On March 7, 2018, CISAC scholar and Hoover Institution Research Fellow Andrew Grotto testified before a bicameral hearing of the California Legislature on “Cybersecurity and California Elections.”...


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.


India Colloquia 2017-2018

*/ In 2016, the Walter H.

China: Going Global

Beijing’s new Silk Road initiative links old trade corridors from Asia to Africa and Europe.

A New India? The Impact of Twenty-Five Years of Reforms

In 2014, Indian voters gave Narendra Modi and the BJP a mandate to accelerate India’s economic reforms and revitalize its foreign relations, in particular with the United States and with partners...


Deconstructing World Culture: The rise of legal restrictions on foreign funding to NGOs, 1994-2015

June 2017

Abstract:There is a growing backlash against the liberal and neoliberal economic, political and social ideologies that have dominated the globe since the 1980s.

The North Korea Crisis

June 2017

Video and transcript from the joint CISAC/Shorenstein APARC panel discussion, "The North Korea Crisis," on May 30, 2017, with James Person, director of the Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation at the Center for Korean History and Public Policy; Gi-Wook...

Wind of Change? South Korea under the New Administration

May 2017

Video and transcript from the Shorenstein APARC Korea Program colloquium, "Wind of Change?


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
Hesham Sallam Research Scholar
Eileen Donahoe Adjunct Professor, CDDRL
Scott D. Sagan Senior Fellow Professor, Political Science
Condoleezza Rice Senior Fellow, by courtesy Professor, Political Science, Professor, Management, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution