Reports & Papers

13 Items

Voters mark their ballots during early voting at the Park Slope Armory in Brooklyn, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Report - Defending Digital Democracy

Beyond 2020: Policy Recommendations for the Future of Election Security

February 2021

The 2020 election presents a paradox. Despite dramatic changes to the election process due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increasingly complex threats since the 2016 election, 2020 is widely regarded as “the most secure [election] in American history.” Operationally, it was also one of the smoothest. State and local election officials overcame unprecedented challenges and scarce resources to administer an election with fewer incidents of cyber compromises, technical failures or long lines than anticipated. After Election Day, recount procedures functioned as designed. Yet, amidst these successes, officials from both parties faced a barrage of mis- and disinformation about the election process that served to undermine confidence in the result.

Though the election security ecosystem survived the triple threat of cybersecurity, physical security, and mis- and disinformation in 2020, this success will prove to be hard to replicate in future election cycles without proper investment and reinforcement.

Tractors on Westminster bridge

AP/Matt Dunham

Paper - Institut für Sicherheitspolitik

The Global Order After COVID-19

| 2020

Despite the far-reaching effects of the current pandemic,  the essential nature of world politics will not be transformed. The territorial state will remain the basic building-block of international affairs, nationalism will remain a powerful political force, and the major powers will continue to compete for influence in myriad ways. Global institutions, transnational networks, and assorted non-state actors will still play important roles, of course, but the present crisis will not produce a dramatic and enduring increase in global governance or significantly higher levels of international cooperation. In short, the post-COVID-19 world will be less open, less free, less prosperous, and more competitive than the world many people expected to emerge only a few years ago.

Voters line up in voting booths to cast their ballots at Robious Elementary School in Richmond, Va. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. The mural in the background was painted by 3rd and 4th graders at the school in preparation for Veterans Day.

Shelby Lum/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP

Paper

The Elections Battle Staff Playbook

December 2019

Our previous Playbooks have focused on the threats posed by cyber attacks and information operations. This Playbook has a broader scope, and equips you with strategies to operationalize the guidance from past Playbooks through effective preparation, communication, incident tracking, and team organization. By compiling best practices from private and public sector actors, we hope to enhance the capacity of your election team, regardless of your staff or jurisdiction size. It will better prepare you to identify issues and respond to incidents of all types during election operations.

In this image made on Friday, April 27, 2012, pages of rival Taiwan newspapers Apple Daily, top half, and The China Times, bottom, are seen depicting each other’s owners in a fight for ownership of a major chunk of Taiwan’s media outlets. (AP)

AP Photo

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Disinformation Threat Watch

While disinformation is a relatively new priority for Western democracies, countries such as Taiwan and South Korea have spent decades battling influence operations from internal and external actors. As democracies, they share structural strengths and challenges with the US, such as the free-flow of information and protections for civil liberties. Based on interviews with over fifty government officials, journalists, and civil society members, the Taiwan and South Korea case studies outline the many specific disinformation characteristics. By highlighting lessons learned from Taiwan and South Korea’s experiences, we hope to equip US policymakers with a wider portfolio of potential solutions.

An attendee shoots a photo on a cell phone of Democratic U.S vice presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine speaking as he appears with Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during a campaign rally in Miami, Florida, U.S. July 23, 2016.

REUTERS/Scott Audette

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Can Democracy Survive in the Information Age?

| October 2018

Democracy is built on the crucial compact that citizens will have access to reliable information and can use that information to participate in government, civic, and corporate decision-making. The technologies of the Information Age were largely built on the assumption that they would strengthen this compact. However, as typified by Russia’s ongoing use of information operations against the United States and Europe, key information technologies have evolved quickly over the past five years and been weaponized against democracies. 

Panel: What does Brexit mean for Europe's security architecture?

Thomas Lobenwein

Report

Brave new world? What Trump and Brexit mean for European foreign policy

| Dec. 08, 2016

On 24 and 25 November 2016 experts from politics and academia, including FDP Executive director Cathryn Clüver, discussed the impact of Brexit on several policy areas in a series of workshops at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. All events took place under Chatham House rules.

Report

Challenges to U.S. Global Leadership

In a Harvard Kennedy School IDEASpHERE session titled "Challenges to US Global Leadership," Graham Allison, Nicholas Burns, David Gergen, David Ignatius, and Meghan O’Sullivan discussed challenges as well as opportunities facing the United States. Burns moderated the session.

Challenges include the rise of China and the future of the U.S.-China relationship, the crises taking place around the world, and the reputation of the U.S. worldwide. An unexpected opportunity is the increase in available energy sources in the United States.

Winning the Peace

Photo by Martha Stewart

Report

Winning the Peace

May 16, 2014

The last seven decades without war among the great powers – what historians describe as “the long peace” – is a remarkable achievement. “This is a rare and unusual fact if you look at the last few thousand years of history,” said Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center and moderator of the IDEASpHERE panel “Winning the Peace.” “Furthermore, it is no accident. Wise choices by statesmen have contributed to ‘the long peace,’ which has allowed many generations to live their lives.”