Policing in America: Understanding Public Attitudes Toward the Police

At first glance Americans appear satisfied with their local law enforcement. However, below the surface reside many stark differences in attitudes toward the police across race/ethnicity, age, education, income, and ideological lines. In a new extensive national public opinion survey, Cato scholar Emily Ekins finds deep partisan and racial divides in perceptions of police efficacy, impartiality, integrity, empathy, tactics, and accountability. Comprehensively examining survey results, the report explores public priorities for policing, anxiety about crime, the impact of personal experiences with police and the judicial system, police misconduct, the use of force, perceptions of police accountability and integrity, and much more.

Will China Solve the North Korea Problem?

The North Korea problem continues to worsen, as the Kim regime tests more nuclear weapons and develops longer range missiles. Tighter sanctions have proved little more effective than diplomatic entreaties. In a new paper, Cato scholar Doug Bandow argues that Washington should develop a comprehensive diplomatic strategy to persuade the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to cooperate with the United States, South Korea, and Japan in pressing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to abandon its nuclear program.

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United States Ranks 23rd on New Human Freedom Index

The United States ranks 23rd in the latest edition of an index that presents the state of human freedom in the world. The Human Freedom Index (HFI) is the most comprehensive measure of freedom ever created for a large number of countries around the globe. “The U.S. performance is worrisome and shows that the United States can no longer claim to be the leading bastion of liberty in the world,” said co-author Ian Vásquez. “In addition to the expansion of the regulatory state and drop in economic freedom, the war on terror, the war on drugs and the erosion of property rights due to greater use of eminent domain all likely have contributed to the U.S. decline.”

  • Human Freedom Index, by Ian Vásquez and Tanja Porčnik. Co-published by the Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute in Canada, and the Liberales Institut at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Germany.

Recent Commentary


December 14

The 2016 Cato Surveillance Conference

Featuring Charlie Savage, New York Times; Julian Sanchez, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; Amie Stepanovich, U.S. Policy Manager, AccessNow; Kevin Bankston, Director, Open Technology Institute, New America Foundation; Patrick Eddington, Policy Analyst, Cato Institute; Michael German, Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice; Maya Berry, Executive Director, Arab American Institute; Mieke Eoyang, Vice President  for National Security Program, Third Way; Alan Butler, Senior Counsel, Electronic Privacy Information Center; Jennifer Daskal, American University Washington College of Law; Shane Harris, Daily Beast; Susan Hennessy, Fellow, Brookings Institution; Timothy Edgar, Visiting Fellow, Watson Institute for International & Public Affairs at Brown University; Carrie Cordero, Former Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Department of Justice; Sharia Mayfield, Staff Attorney, Oregon Department of Justice; Nathan Leamer, Policy Analyst, R Street Institute.

8:30AM to 5:30PM
Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute

December 15

Why America Misunderstands the World: National Experience and Roots of Misperception

Featuring the author Paul Pillar, Researcher, Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University; Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; with comments by Robert Jervis, Adlai Stevenson Professor of International Politics, Columbia University; Trevor Thrall, Associate Professor, School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs, George Mason University; Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; moderated by Benjamin H. Friedman, Research Fellow in Defense and Homeland Security Studies, Cato Institute.

11:00AM to 12:30PM
Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute

January 17

Debating the Trump Doctrine

Featuring Emma Ashford, Research Fellow, Cato Institute; Colin Dueck, Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University; Kathleen Hicks, Senior Vice President, Center for Strategic & International Studies; Barry Posen, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Trevor Thrall, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; moderated by Karen DeYoung, Associate Editor and Senior National Security Correspondent, Washington Post.

12:00PM to 1:30PM
Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute

Of Special Note

The Welfare of Nations

The Welfare of Nations

What damage is being done by failing welfare states? What lessons can be learned from the best welfare states? And—is it too late to stop welfare states from permanently diminishing the lives and liberties of people around the world? Traveling around the globe, James Bartholomew examines welfare models, searching for the best education, health care, and support services in 11 vastly different countries; illuminating the advantages and disadvantages of other nations’ welfare states; and delving into crucial issues such as literacy, poverty, and inequality. This is a hard-hitting and provocative contribution to understanding how welfare states are changing the very nature of modern civilization.

Special! 10 Copies for $10

Cato Pocket Constitution

To encourage people everywhere to better understand and appreciate the principles of government that are set forth in America’s founding documents, the Cato Institute published this pocket-size edition.

Now Available

The Libertarian Mind Audiobook

The Libertarian Mind, by David Boaz, longtime executive vice president of the Cato Institute, is the best available guide to the history, ideas, and growth of libertarianism, and is the ultimate resource for the current, burgeoning libertarian movement. This acclaimed book is now available as a fully unabridged audiobook, ready for immediate downloading, on Audible.com.

The 2016 Cato Surveillance Conference

As the nation braces itself for a new presidential administration, the Cato Institute will gather technologists, legislators, activists, and intelligence officials to survey the privacy landscape, look ahead to the issues Americans will be debating over the next eight years — from government hacking to predictive “big data” to the “Internet of things” — and examine how and whether Americans can still live at least occasionally free from prying eyes.