PSR's Domestic Politics Unit seeks to examine the Palestinian domestic scene and the process of governance. It focuses on the different facets of state building and political change. Issues of interest include institution building, transition to democracy, clean government, civics, political trends, and political alignment. DPU seeks to develop various quantitative political indicators with a special focus on developing a Palestinian democracy index as well as trends in political affiliation and the domestic balance of power. One of DPU's current programs focuses on the process of Palestinian Institutional Reform. The program seeks to maintain the momentum generated by the release of reports on strengthening Palestinian public institutions and to create a capacity at the civil society level to prioritize, develop, and analyze specific and detailed reform measures; monitor and evaluate PA reform steps; and assist the reform process by generating political pressure and placing reform on public agenda. The program sends a signal affirming Palestinian ownership of the process of reform.
Currently, the Institutional Reform program is focused on the constitutional process. PSR and the official Palestinian Constitution Committee are collaborating with the goal of assistting the Committee toward the completion of its work. Specifically, PSR seeks to help the Committee in designing a draft that can be presented to the wider Palestinian audience. Furthermore, the Constitutional Process project seeks to open a public debate on the nature of the political system of the new Palestinian state.
The DPU's Democracy Index program is a continuation of a work initiated during 1997-99 by a PSR research team. The Democracy Index (DI) is an annual, periodically updated report that attempts to quantify the direction of transition to democracy in Palestine. DI consists of more than 40 indicators that are measured to reflect various fields, indicative to democracy; Hence DI provides a local quantitative measurement of the democratic situation in a certain time frame. The fields, which are reflected in the indicators, can be classified on different basis; they represent means of democratic participation of citizens in decision-making. They also reflect the three traditional spheres for the study of social phenomena, the political, economical, and societal. The DI program will issue annual reports updating those already published.