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Sustaining Democracy Across the World

Researchers have identified conditions under which authoritarian regimes are likely to be challenged, and have demonstrated activities that can assist with the transition to democracy including informal education activities, addressing human rights violations and ensuring diversity among candidates in elections.

A longstanding goal of U.S. foreign policy is to nurture democracy and democratization. How to accomplish this is less clear. This research pinpoints factors that can generate change in authoritarian systems and support regime transitions. The results can assist policymakers as they choose actions to take and dangerous trends to watch. They help us comprehend the factors leading to creation, consolidation and sustainability of democracies around the world.

Through surveys, interviews and observational data, researchers have examined authoritarian regimes and resistance to them. They have characterized situations in which resistance to an authoritarian regime is more or less likely, identified the characteristics of individuals who are likely to support or oppose democratic transitions, and described educational activities that either solidify or undermine transitions from authoritarianism to democracy.


  • people voting
Voting is essential to democracies across the world.

Recent Award Highlights

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Promoting more effective marine conservation

Accountability and flexibility enhance adoption of conservation technologies

Research Areas: People & Society Locations: Washington International
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Research Areas: People & Society Locations: New York International