Rachel Kleinfeld

Senior Fellow
Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program
Rachel Kleinfeld is a senior fellow in the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program, where she focuses on issues of rule of law, security, and governance in post-conflict countries, fragile states, and states in transition.
 

Education

DPhil, MPhil, International Relations, St. Antony’s College, Oxford. 
BA, Yale University 

Languages

English

 

Rachel Kleinfeld is a senior fellow in the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program, where she focuses on issues of rule of law, security, and governance in post-conflict countries, fragile states, and states in transition. Her work bridges comparative and U.S. democracies through her service on the National Task Force on Election Crises and as the former CEO of the Truman National Security Project.

As the founding CEO of the Truman National Security Project, she spent nearly a decade leading a movement of national security, political, and military leaders working to promote people and policies that strengthen security, stability, rights, and human dignity in America and around the world. In 2011, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton appointed Kleinfeld to the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, which advises the secretary of state quarterly, a role she served through 2014.

Kleinfeld has consulted on rule of law reform for the World Bank, the European Union, the OECD, the Open Society Institute, and other institutions, and has briefed multiple government agencies in the United States and abroad. She is the author of Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad: Next Generation Reform (Carnegie, 2012), which was chosen by Foreign Affairs magazine as one of the best foreign policy books of 2012. Her writings have appeared in Relocating the Rule of Law (Hart, 2009), Promoting Democracy and the Rule of Law: American and European Strategies (Palgrave, 2009), The Future of Human Rights (Philadelphia UP, 2008), Promoting the Rule of Law: The Problem of Knowledge (Carnegie Endowment, 2006), With All Our Might (Rowen and Littlefield, 2006) and other publications. She has also co-authored Let There Be Light: Electrifying the Developing World with Markets and Distributed Generation (Truman Institute, 2012).

Named one of the top 40 Under 40 Political Leaders in America by Time magazine in 2010, Kleinfeld has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and other national television, radio, and print media. You can find out more about her work and activities on her website, rachelkleinfeld.com.

  • Journal of Democracy October 19, 2021
    The Rise of Political Violence in the United States

    Although political violence in the United States is on the rise, it is still lower than in many other countries. Once violence begins, however, it fuels itself.

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  • Journal of Democracy October 1, 2021
    The Rise of Political Violence in the United States

    Although political violence in the United States is on the rise, it is still lower than in many other countries. Once violence begins, however, it fuels itself. Far from making people turn away in horror, political violence in the present is the greatest factor normalizing it for the future. Preventing a downward spiral is therefore imperative.

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  • Op-Ed Just Security June 4, 2021
    Why Supporters of Democracy and Security Both Need to Care about Security Sector Governance

    Reversing democracy’s international decline has emerged as a pillar of the Biden Administration’s foreign policy. The goal marries our values and our security.

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  • Picking Global Fragility Act Countries
    Article May 26, 2021
    Picking Global Fragility Act Countries

    The Global Fragility Act offers the United States a unique opportunity. It aims to improve global security and reduce the threat of conflict spillover by crafting a holistic way of working with fragile states.

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  • How Middle-Power Democracies Can Help Renovate Global Democracy Support
    Paper February 4, 2021
    How Middle-Power Democracies Can Help Renovate Global Democracy Support

    Middle-power democracies should not tread water while waiting for the United States to address its own democratic crisis. They must help revamp global democracy support using their comparative strengths.

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  • Something to Celebrate: A Safe Election, So Far
    Op-Ed Fulcrum November 4, 2020
    Something to Celebrate: A Safe Election, So Far

    The evening before the election, the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general declared illegal the department's deputization of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection and other DHS employees to Portland in August.

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  • How to Cover Electoral Conflict
    Op-Ed Election SOS October 8, 2020
    How to Cover Electoral Conflict

    The United States is different from other countries in many ways. But polarized people tend to be have similarly, all over the world. And in this context, the usual traditions of journalism will not work—and can do enormous harm

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  • The Unprecedented White House Race
    Op-Ed Chatham House October 5, 2020
    The Unprecedented White House Race

    With an unprecedented number of absentee ballots expected to be cast, key states unprepared to handle the influx, a post office accused of political machinations, and misinformation rife, polls suggest that many Americans will not view the outcome as legitimate, whoever wins.

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  • The U.S. Shows All the Signs of a Country Spiraling Toward Political Violence
    Op-Ed Washington Post September 11, 2020
    The U.S. Shows All the Signs of a Country Spiraling Toward Political Violence

    Political violence in democracies often seems spontaneous: an angry mob launching a pogrom, a lone shooter assassinating a president. But in fact, the crisis has usually been building for years, and the risk factors are well known. The United States is now walking the last steps on that path.

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  • 7 Ideas to Reduce Political Polarization. And Save America from Itself.
    Op-Ed USA Today July 23, 2020
    7 Ideas to Reduce Political Polarization. And Save America from Itself.

    How can we heal our country’s toxic polarization? Here are seven research-backed ideas for pundits, politicians, reporters and regular citizens to bring down the temperature.

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  • Monocle November 7, 2020
    The Briefing

    Experts examine the level of social unrest in the U.S. following the country’s presidential election.

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  • Recovery Project April 13, 2020
    Democracy in a Post COVID19 World

    COVID-19 has stressed state institutions and global relations. As we look ahead towards recovery, countries are going to be grappling with a variety of issues, some of them anticipated and others completely unforeseen.

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  • TED January 16, 2020
    A Path To Security for the World’s Deadliest Countries

    A person is more likely to die violently if they live in a middle-income democracy with high levels of inequality and political polarization than if they live in a country at war. But while few people can do much to end war, regular voters can be the greatest force for change in rotten democracies.

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  • Dissenter November 1, 2019
    On A Savage Order; Decivilization, Dirty Deals, And Recivilization
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  • Radio Café January 30, 2019
    Ending Epidemics of Violence

    Repression can incite greater disorder within a region and export violence to other places. Instead, to heal a society of epidemic violence requires the middle class helped by social organizers and politicians willing to make deals.

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  • A Cure for Massive Violence: Rachel Kleinfeld
    How Do We Fix It?: A Repair Manual For the Real World January 17, 2019
    A Cure for Massive Violence

    Decivilization can happen anywhere when violence becomes regularized. However, recovery is possible when complicit states reform and regular people, especially the middle class, address the violence and disorder in their communities.

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  • Science Salon: A Savage Order
    Skeptic January 15, 2019
    Science Salon: A Savage Order

    Getting on the road to recivilization requires fixing violent and corrupt systems. Such reform can shift the incentives on the ground and may provide an opportunity for deeper change in society.

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  • KERA Think December 5, 2018
    The World’s Most Violent Places Are Not at War

    Highly unequal societies are some of the most violent places on earth. Recovery requires an attentive middle class and politicians willing to make deals.

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  • American Interest December 4, 2018
    Overcoming Violence

    The distinction between political and criminal violence is not as stark as many think. When governments become complicit with violence these distinctions begin to blur.

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  • Can Violent Countries Get Better?
    Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs November 9, 2018
    Can Violent Countries Get Better?

    Really violent places can get better, but it is not an easy path.

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Source: http://carnegieendowment.org/experts/index.cfm?fa=expert_view&expert_id=699

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