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About Democracy Lab

Democracy Lab is Foreign Policy's home for coverage of transitions to democracy, published in partnership with the Legatum Institute. Democracy Lab also runs Transitions, a blog featuring on-the-ground coverage of transitioning countries.

Editor, Christian Caryl
Assistant Editor, Ilya Lozovsky

Learn more about Democracy Lab here.

The author stands on the nuclear bombing test fields in Kazakhstan.
The author stands on the nuclear bombing test fields in Kazakhstan.

Can Kazakhstan Bury Its Nuclear Past?

Forgetting the site where Russia became a nuclear power comes with its own risks.

Protestor standing in front of a river, holding a sign against the Amazon River Club Development.
Protestor standing in front of a river, holding a sign against the Amazon River Club Development.

Amazon’s New Africa HQ Pits Indigenous South Africans Against Each Other

The planned development will bring jobs, but raises questions about who speaks for Khoi and San peoples, what is sacred, and how to commemorate injustice.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi speaks following a funeral procession carrying the remains of 200 Iranian soldiers recovered from former battlefields of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War in Tehran on Dec. 27, 2022.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi speaks following a funeral procession carrying the remains of 200 Iranian soldiers recovered from former battlefields of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War in Tehran on Dec. 27, 2022.

Why Saudi Arabia Doesn’t Want Iran’s Regime to Fall

Riyadh seeks to leverage ongoing anti-government protests to extract geopolitical concessions from Tehran—not effect regime change.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg attend a town hall meeting.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg attend a town hall meeting.

Modi Is Muzzling Big Tech

Silicon Valley has spent years courting India, but its companies face an increasingly tricky censorship minefield in the world’s largest democracy.

The U.S. Abrams tanks, the German Leopard and the AHS Krab, a 155 mm NATO-compatible self-propelled tracked gun-howitzer seen at a training ground in Poland on Sept. 21, 2022.
The U.S. Abrams tanks, the German Leopard and the AHS Krab, a 155 mm NATO-compatible self-propelled tracked gun-howitzer seen at a training ground in Poland on Sept. 21, 2022.

Will Tanks Turn the Tide for Ukraine?

Germany and the United States are sending Leopards and M1 Abrams tanks—but Washington’s desired endgame is still a mystery.

Ukrainian artillerymen fire toward Russian positions at a front line in the Lugansk region of Ukraine.
Ukrainian artillerymen fire toward Russian positions at a front line in the Lugansk region of Ukraine.

Subscriber Questions on Ukraine, Answered

German tanks, Russia’s looming offensive, and what the global south is waiting for.

A sign shows the national debt at a bus shelter in Washington.
A sign shows the national debt at a bus shelter in Washington.

China Doesn’t Want a U.S. Debt Default

Washington takes on financial risks that Beijing can’t afford.

People sit near the Golden Horn in Istanbul.
People sit near the Golden Horn in Istanbul.
People hold a demonstration against Peru’s government.
People hold a demonstration against Peru’s government.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves to his supporters.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves to his supporters.
A member of a social organization lies on the floor with a Mexican national flag in his chest to protest against Ciudad Juarez's drug gangs' violence, at the Angel de la Independencia Monument in Mexico City, on Feb. 6, 2010.
A member of a social organization lies on the floor with a Mexican national flag in his chest to protest against Ciudad Juarez's drug gangs' violence, at the Angel de la Independencia Monument in Mexico City, on Feb. 6, 2010.
Andrej Babis, a former Czech prime minister who is now running for the presidency, talks to his supporters during an election campaign stop in Brno, Czech Republic, on Jan. 9.
Andrej Babis, a former Czech prime minister who is now running for the presidency, talks to his supporters during an election campaign stop in Brno, Czech Republic, on Jan. 9.
An image of Alexander the Great on horseback fighting the Battle of Issus.
An image of Alexander the Great on horseback fighting the Battle of Issus.
Netanyahu waves as he walks during a hearing at the Magistrate Court.
Netanyahu waves as he walks during a hearing at the Magistrate Court.
Protesters listen to anti-coup fighters in Myanmar.
Protesters listen to anti-coup fighters in Myanmar.
Erdogan is seen walking in front of a blue screen of the NATO flag.
Erdogan is seen walking in front of a blue screen of the NATO flag.
An M1 Abrams battle tank of the U.S. Army
An M1 Abrams battle tank of the U.S. Army
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Jan. 25.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Jan. 25.
People fleeing violence in Mali walk through the weekly market in the M'Berra refugee camp in Bassikounou, Mauritania, on June 7, 2022.
People fleeing violence in Mali walk through the weekly market in the M'Berra refugee camp in Bassikounou, Mauritania, on June 7, 2022.

Galleries

Protesters—many of them armed—try to enter the Michigan House of Representatives chamber and are stopped by state police during a protest April 30 demanding that businesses be reopened. An “American Patriot Rally” organized by Michigan United for Liberty was held earlier in the day on the steps of the state Capitol in Lansing. JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images
Protesters—many of them armed—try to enter the Michigan House of Representatives chamber and are stopped by state police during a protest April 30 demanding that businesses be reopened. An “American Patriot Rally” organized by Michigan United for Liberty was held earlier in the day on the steps of the state Capitol in Lansing. JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

The Week in World Photos

Global protests against government-imposed lockdowns, gang violence in El Salvador, and hat tips to medical staff.

Muslims offer prayers on April 23, the first night of Ramadan, in Bireuen, Indonesia. AMANDA JUFRIAN/AFP via Getty Images
Muslims offer prayers on April 23, the first night of Ramadan, in Bireuen, Indonesia. AMANDA JUFRIAN/AFP via Getty Images

The Week in World Photos

A prayerful start to Ramadan, medical workers on the front lines of a pandemic, and the annual Lyrids meteor shower.

In the Magazine

In the Magazine

foreign-policy-magazine-cover-coronavirus-globalization-spring-2020
foreign-policy-magazine-cover-coronavirus-globalization-spring-2020
deglobalization-localization-lego-globe-ben-fearnley
deglobalization-localization-lego-globe-ben-fearnley

How to Save Global Capitalism From Itself

Decentralizing decision-making can help left-behind regions get back on track.

brexit-deglobalization-brian-stauffer-illustration
brexit-deglobalization-brian-stauffer-illustration

Britain’s Post-Brexit Identity Crisis

Boris Johnson has contradictory ideas for his country’s future—and no clear paths for getting there.

The Ugly End of Chimerica

The coronavirus pandemic has turned a conscious uncoupling into a messy breakup.

The 3 Most Polarizing Words in India

“Jai Shri Ram” was meant to be a celebration of a Hindu deity. But the phrase is turning into hate speech—and a dog whistle for attacks on Muslims.

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An illustration shows US President Joe Biden surrounded by the foreign-policy issues he has faced in his first two years in office.
An illustration shows US President Joe Biden surrounded by the foreign-policy issues he has faced in his first two years in office.

Biden’s Foreign-Policy Report Card

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Two years into his first term, how has U.S. President Joe Biden fared on foreign policy? Is there a clear Biden doctrine? Is America in a stronger or weaker position globally?  The answers ...Show more

A Russian flag at the Embassy of Russia is seen through a bus stop post in Washington, DC on April 15, 2021. - The US announced sanctions against Russia on April 15, 2021, and the expulsion of 10 diplomats in retaliation for what Washington says is the Kremlin's US election interference, a massive cyber attack and other hostile activity. President Joe Biden ordered a widening of restrictions on US banks trading in Russian government debt, expelled 10 diplomats who include alleged spies, and sanctioned 32 individuals alleged to have tried to meddle in the 2020 presidential election, the White House said. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
A Russian flag at the Embassy of Russia is seen through a bus stop post in Washington, DC on April 15, 2021. - The US announced sanctions against Russia on April 15, 2021, and the expulsion of 10 diplomats in retaliation for what Washington says is the Kremlin's US election interference, a massive cyber attack and other hostile activity. President Joe Biden ordered a widening of restrictions on US banks trading in Russian government debt, expelled 10 diplomats who include alleged spies, and sanctioned 32 individuals alleged to have tried to meddle in the 2020 presidential election, the White House said. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Do U.S. Sanctions Work?

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When Washington seeks to curtail Beijing’s ambitions or punish Moscow for its war in Ukraine, it often turns to a familiar tool: sanctions. In the last two years, the Biden administration ...Show more

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Reporters-notebook-FPLive-site-3-2

This week, Germany and the United States announced that they would be supplying Ukraine with dozens of Leopard 2 and M1 Abrams tanks to combat Russia’s invasion. Moscow said these tanks we...Show more

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