Rule of Law | Wilson Center

Rule of Law

Formative Battles: Cold War Disinformation Campaigns and Mitigation Strategies

During the Cold War, the U.S. and the Soviet Union refined covert methods of political intervention and conflict, making use of proxy wars, election interference, and disinformation campaigns to advance their respective interests. Work such as Dov H. Levin’s research tracking election interference (2016) illustrates that both superpowers used disinformation as a core tactic throughout the Cold War and the subsequent decade. Throughout the Cold War, the U.S. and USSR competed in an arms race of fictions, attempting to cultivate ideological support internationally and domestically.

Understanding the New Wave of Arab Protests: An Expert Panel

A new series of protests and demonstrations has erupted across the Middle East and North Africa over the past 9 months. In Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, Algeria, Jordan, and Egypt, these protests were largely triggered by dire socio-economic conditions, corruption and a sense of economic and political disenfranchisement with outright calls for regime change in the  case of Algeria, Sudan, and very recently in Lebanon. 

Judges or Vigilantes

In one of his first roles, actor Michael Douglas plays a young judge newly assigned to a criminal court. Frustrated by having to free a murderer due to legal technicalities, the young judge approaches his most experienced peers to secretly meet and discuss similar cases. If their verdict is guilty, a hitman is sent to kill the accused. Through this process, the judges took charge of bringing to justice those who deserved it, or at least that is what they thought until an innocent life was killed through their verdict.

Trudeau, Scheer, and the Future of Canada: Canadian Election Special

The Canada Institute and the Canada-United States Law Institute (CUSLI) convened an in-depth discussion analyzing the outcome of the October 21st federal election. Leading U.S.-Canada analysts, former diplomats and business leaders addressed the implications of the election results for Canadian politics, Canada-U.S. relations, and Canada's engagement with the world. 

Selected Quotes


Nik Nanos:

Russia's Unjust Justice


When I landed in the United States about a year ago, a border control official asked me the reason for my visit. I told him I was attending a conference on the Russian constitution and Russia’s Constitutional Court. “A constitution? You have a constitution? I thought you just had Mister Putin,” said the official, puzzled. 

The Pulse of Democracy in the Americas: Results from the 2019 AmericasBarometer Study

This latest survey of the Americas documents the extent to which democratic malaise has settled over key parts of the region, with support for and satisfaction with democracy at their lowest points since the project began in 2004. System support and trust in elections have also declined. Underlying this regional portrait are important and revealing variations across countries: notably, where elections have produced an alternation of political power, public commitment to democracy and democratic institutions is higher. The survey also looks for the first time at social media use.

Book Launch: The Firebird: The Elusive Fate of Russian Democracy

In 1991, as tanks moved through Moscow to seize the Russian White House, Russia’s first Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev stood with President Boris Yeltsin and his team. Kozyrev later participated in negotiations among leaders of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus to formally end the Soviet Union and create the newly independent Russian Federation.

Russia and the European Human Rights System

Almost twenty years after Russia ratified the European Convention on Human Rights, the Chairman of its Constitutional Court expressed resentment of the “subordination” of Russian sovereignty. In response, a new law expanded the Russian court’s jurisdiction to review judgements made by the European Court of Human Rights. Professor Jeffrey Kahn analyzed this new law and its application framed within the larger context of Russia’s experience of this human rights treaty.