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

Red Leviathan: Authority and Violence in Revolutionary Political Culture

December 2017

As Mao euphemistically remarked, revolutions are not dinner parties. Violence is to be expected when political regimes are overturned.

‘Sons of the soil’: A model of assimilation and population control

November 2017

We model the cultural outcomes of ‘sons of the soil’ conflicts.

Global Populisms and Their Impact

October 2017

Populism is on the rise: but to understand this phenomenon, we should first clearly conceptualize it and recognize that populism takes on different forms in various historical and political...

Other Publications

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...

Who Leads the West and Why: Trump or Merkel? Constitutional Cultures in the United States and Germany

September 2017

Theodor Fontane, the master of German realist fiction, published his first novel, Before the Storm, in 1876.

Why deciding to ‘move forward’ with Putin is a big mistake

July 2017

In his readout of the first meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised the desire of both presidents to forget about the past —...


Stanford study examines political reckoning of authoritarians in the face of crises

December 2017

In the years since World War II, as the global geopolitical map was drawn and redrawn along ideological lines, the world witnessed ascension of many authoritarians.

Macron, Brexit and the Future of European Politics

July 2017

 Patrick Chamorel, senior resident scholar at the Stanford Center in Washington DC, weighs in on the geopolitical impact of the French and UK elections in a Scholars' Circle interview.  Joining the...

Breaking down Brexit

June 2017

Christophe Crombez, Stanford Senior Research Scholar at The Europe Center, talks about the global effects of Brexit on World AffairsTo listen to the conversation in its entirety, please visit the...


Voting Patterns in the European Parliament: Is the Structure of Political Conflict Changing?

March 6, 2018

In this paper we study the changing multi-dimensional structure of political (ideological) conflict in the European Parliament.

Nemtsov: Film Screening and Discussion with Filmmaker Vladimir Kara-Murza and Michael McFaul

March 6, 2018

Nemtsov is a documentary film about the late leader of the Russian opposition, directed by his friend and colleague Vladimir Kara-Murza. The film chronicles a remarkable political life.

Digital transformation of democracy? Challenges and Opportunities

February 20, 2018

In this talk we will discuss the challenges and opportunities of various digital initiatives and their potential to affect democracy.


European Public Finance

Modern European states have significant responsibilities to their populace, including ensuring that citizens’ basic needs are met and the provision of security, law and order, and other public...

European Governance

The governance of Europe has constantly been reimagined, debated, and revolutionized.

Austrian and Central European Program

The Europe Center's Austrian and Central European Program seeks to advance relations between the United States and Austria and Central Europe.


The European Crisis

January 2017

"The European Crisis"Date:  January 17, 2017Venue:  Oksenberg Room, Encina Hall, Stanford UniversitySpeaker:  Andrew Moravcsik, Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University 

Why France and the European Union Still Matter for the United States

February 2015

Is Europe "elderly and haggard", and could France become "the crucible of  Europe" (Jan.


David Holloway, CISAC David Holloway Senior Fellow Professor, History, Professor, Political Science
Karl Eikenberry Karl Eikenberry Professor of the Practice Fellow, S-APARC, Core faculty, CISAC, Affiliate, CDDRL, Affiliate, TEC
Image of Christophe Crombez Christophe Crombez Senior Research Scholar Senior Research Scholar, TEC
Photo of Anna Grzymala-Busse Anna Grzymala-Busse Senior Fellow Professor, Political Science
Condoleezza Rice Senior Fellow, by courtesy Professor, Political Science, Professor, Management, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
Michael A. McFaul Senior Fellow Professor, Political Science, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
Francis Fukuyama Senior Fellow
Timothy E. Josling Senior Fellow, by courtesy Professor, Food Research Institute, Emeritus
James J. Sheehan Senior Fellow, by courtesy Professor, History, Emeritus
Roland Hsu Affiliate