Congressional Reform

Congress’s performance as an institution is critical to the nation and democracy worldwide. Sunwater Institute conducts theoretical and applied research aimed at improving Congress’s institutional knowledge, processes, and efficiency. The program strives to convert lessons from its academic research projects to develop tools, analytics, and datasets that are leveraged by Congress itself and partner institutions conducting similar research.

Group Decision Making

How individuals effectively work together to make decisions is not well understood, yet it is fundamental to human success and modern institutions. Sunwater conducts research on the fundamentals of formal and informal group decision making and applies that knowledge to improve electoral system design, lawmaking, and the market. Sunwater seeks to improve key group decision making institutions through the insights gained from the integration of sociobiology, mathematics, and political sciences.

Property, Markets & Trade

Property rights are a cornerstone of free societies and the foundation on which the market operates. Sunwater researches the evolution and enforcement of property rights over time, and investigates how new technologies create opportunities, threats, and novel conceptualizations of property rights. Sunwater investigates how theft impacts innovation, market structure, international trade, and individual behavior.

Rights and Liberties

Rights and liberties define the boundaries of state action and the obligations owed by states to citizens and by citizens to states. Sunwater explores the evolution of rights and liberties from prehistory up to the present day from a multidisciplinary perspective, using the insights of philosophy, law, history, the natural sciences. Sunwater explores the purposes and limits of rights, the potential conflict among rights, and the question of which rights should be protected.