Brookings experts on the biggest issues in election 2016 and beyond

Image of a "vote" sign after a speech by Pres. Obama in Ohio

As part of a new Institution-wide initiative, Brookings experts have identified the most important issues shaping the 2016 election and are sharing their best ideas for how to address them.

From the Iran nuclear deal to tax reform, expert contributions to the Election 2016 and America’s Future policy brief series explore issues and offer solutions that are as relevant for voters as they are for the next administration. Explore a selection of briefs below, and read the full series before heading to the polls on November 8.

This list will be updated as new policy briefs are published. On Wednesday morning at 8:15 a.m., watch experts discuss economic mobility and racial inequities, an event that is part of Brookings’s special election events lineup. Also, check out the Elections 101 video series for insightful commentary on the presidential election process.


The most important non-issue in the 2016 campaign [the debt]
(Ron Haskins)

Infrastructure issues and options for the next president
(William Galston and Robert Puentes)

Short- and long-term strategies to renew American infrastructure
(Adie Tomer and Joseph Kane)

Recommendations for federal budget policy
(Douglas Elmendorf)

Securing the future of driverless cars
(Darrell West)

Productivity and Election 2016
(David Wessel)
> listen to a related podcast

Major tax issues in 2016
(William Gale and Aaron Krupkin)

Maximizing the local economic impact of federal R&D
(Scott Andes)


An agenda for reducing poverty and improving opportunity
(Isabel Sawhill and Edward Rodrigue)

Unhappiness in America: Desperation in white towns, resilience and diversity in the cities
(Carol Graham and Sergio Pinto)
> listen to a related podcast

Criminal justice reform: Issues and options for the next president
(William Galston)

Health policy issues and the 2016 presidential election
(Robert Reischauer and Alice Rivlin)

Time for justice: Tackling race inequalities in health and housing
(Dayna Bowen Matthew, Richard Reeves, and Edward Rodrigue)
> listen to a related podcast

Countering violent extremism in America: Policy recommendations for the next president
(Robert McKenzie)
> listen to a related podcast


Lawful hacking and the case for a strategic approach to “Going Dark”
(Susan Hennessey)

America’s awesome military
(Michael O’Hanlon and David Petraeus)


America’s role in a turbulent world
(Bruce Jones)

Nuclear modernization, arms control, and U.S.-Russia relations
(Steven Pifer)

In support of U.S. alliances
(Richard Bush)

The pivotal role of the next U.S. administration in delivering global climate action
(Nathan Hultman)

Energy and climate: Moving beyond symbolism
(David Victor)


A framework for U.S. policy toward China
(Jeffrey Bader)

Dealing with a simmering Ukraine-Russia conflict
(Fiona Hill and Steven Pifer)
> listen to a related podcast

Forging an enduring partnership with Afghanistan
(Vanda Felbab-Brown, Bruce Riedel, John Allen, Michael O’Hanlon, and others)

Dealing with a nuclear-armed North Korea
(Evans Revere)

Iraq: A policy proposal for the next administration
(Kenneth Pollack)

The JCPOA should be maintained and reinforced with a broad regional strategy
(Robert Einhorn)
> listen to a related podcast

Deconstructing Syria: A confederal approach
(Michael O’Hanlon)
> listen to a related podcast


The future of U.S.-China trade ties
(David Dollar)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: The politics of openness and leadership in the Asia-Pacific
(Mireya Solís)
> listen to a related podcast

How the U.S. can better harness the private sector for development: Advice for the next President
(George Ingram)

Making U.S. development fit for the 21st century
(George Ingram)

US leadership in global education: The time is now
(Rebecca Winthrop)