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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.

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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.

Social Movements and the Networked Public Sphere: The Complexities of Empowerment and Fragility

May 2017

Speaker Bio:Zeynep Tufekci, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, writes about the social impacts of technology.

How Accountable?: Assessing Developments in Accountability at Multilateral Development Banks

May 2017

Abstract:Within the last fifteen years, nine multilateral development banks (MDBs) have established internal accountability offices (IAOs).  These IAOs, the most well-known of which is the World Bank Inspection Panel, allow communities within...

Cultivating the Appearance of Neutrality: Autocratic Propaganda in Africa and Asia

May 2017

Abstract: How do autocrats manipulate the beliefs of their citizens during political crises?

Civil Wars and the Post-Cold War International Order

April 2017

Abstract:By the standards of prosperity and peace, the post-Cold War international order has been  an unparalleled success.

Economic Transformation and Government Reforms in Georgia 2004-2012

April 2017

Abstract:Nika Gilauri, has recently published a book Practical Economics: Economic Transformation and Government Reform in Georgia 2004-2012.

Shameful Preferences and the Legitimization of Europe’s Far Right

April 2017

Abstract:As the number of migrants in Europe has risen in recent years, far right parties have fuelled voters’ fears concerning what the influx will mean for their nations.

The Dynamics of Extortion in Mexico’s War on Drugs

April 2017

Abstract:This paper provides an account of the strategies of extortion and co-optation used by drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) toward civil society in Mexico.

Disruption: Challenges of a New Era

March 2017

CDDRL welcomed Fundacion RAP (Red de Accion Politica) March 19-March 24, for a joint conference: “Disruption: Challenges of a New Era”.

Dictatorship and Information

March 2017

 Abstract:How do autocracies collect information on popular discontent? The existing literature has not provided a systematic answer to this question despite its fundamental importance for understanding the logic of authoritarian rule.

Whither Parties?

March 2017

Abstract:Scholars of comparative politics have long examined political parties as organized vehicles of mass mobilization, interest mediation, and policy formation.

The Art of Authoritarian Control in China

February 2017

Abstract:When villages in China began to introduce local elections in the 1980s it was, for many, a moment of great optimism about the prospects for local democracy in the Peoples' Republic.

The Evolution of Autocracy

February 2017

Abstract:Globalization, shifting great power dynamics, and the growing accessibility of Internet and communication technology has changed the environment within which autocrats operate.

How will Michael Flynn's resignation affect US-Russia relations?

February 2017

Russia expert and Stanford University senior fellow Kathryn Stoner on Russian reaction to the national security adviser's resignation. Watch the video here.

The Politics of Order in Informal Markets: Evidence from Lagos

February 2017

Abstract:Property rights are important for economic exchange, but in much of the world they are not publicly provided.

Afghanistan: U.S. Policy Options Fifteen Years after 9/11

January 2017

Abstract:Fifteen years after the American-led international military intervention, Afghanistan faces mounting security, governance, and economic challenges.  The Afghan Army and police remain highly dependent on U.S.

The Whore, the Hostess, and the Honey: Policing, Health, Business and the Regulation of Prostitution in China

December 2016

Speaker Bio: Margaret Boittin is Assistant Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Canada. She studies Chinese law and politics.She was a predoctoral and postdoctoral fellow at CDDRL (2012-2015).  

Toward Real-Time Measures of Poverty and Vulnerability

December 2016

Abstract:Accurate and timely estimates of population characteristics are a critical input to research and policy, but reliable data is often scarce in developing and conflict-affected regions.

Psychology of Political Risk in Autocracy

November 2016

Abstract:Many authoritarian regimes use the threat of repression to suppress dissent.

The Paranoïd Style in French Politics: The Fifth Republic under Siege

October 2016

Abstract:On the eve of primaries on the Right in November and for the Socialist Party in January, the French presidential campaign for the April/May 2017 elections is now in full swing.

Relic: The Constitution and Ineffective Government

October 2016

Abstract:American government is incapable of dealing effectively with the challenges of modern society. Why the dysfunction? The usual suspects include polarization and the rise in campaign spending.

History and Democracy in Contemporary India

October 2016

Abstract:Sunil Khilnani’s new book, Incarnations, tells India’s history through 50 biographical essays, ranging from the Buddha to a contemporary billionaire.

Taiwan’s China Dilemma

October 2016

Contested Identities and Multiple Interests in Taiwan’s Cross-Strait Economic PolicyAbstractChina and Taiwan share one of the world's most complex international relationships.

Why Presidents Fail and How They Can Succeed Again

October 2016

Abstract:From the botched attempt to rescue the U.S. diplomats held hostage by Iran in 1980 under President Jimmy Carter and the missed intelligence on Al Qaeda before 9-11 under George W.


Stephen J. Stedman Senior Fellow, Professor, by courtesy, Political Science
Stephen D. Krasner Senior Fellow Professor, Political Science, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
Alberto Díaz-Cayeros Senior Fellow Professor, by courtesy, Political Science
Jenny Martinez Senior Fellow, by courtesy Professor, Law
Michael A. McFaul Senior Fellow Professor, Political Science, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
Larry Diamond Senior Fellow Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
Beatriz Magaloni Senior Fellow Associate Professor, Political Science
Francis Fukuyama Senior Fellow
David Holloway, CISAC David Holloway Senior Fellow Professor, History, Professor, Political Science
Kathryn Stoner Senior Fellow
Avner Greif Senior Fellow Professor, Economics
Marcel Fafchamps Senior Fellow Professor, by courtesy, Economics