Democracy Lab

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 U.S. Department of State building in Washington, DC, on July 22, 2019.

The U.S. Foreign Service Isn’t Suited for the 21st Century

Created for another age, Washington’s foreign-policy institutions have atrophied. The next administration should rebuild and reshape them.

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Here’s How the 2020 U.S. Elections Resemble Those of Fragile Democracies

A veteran observer of elections in troubled countries describes the undeniable parallels.

People with Chilean flags take part in a rally ahead of Sunday's referendum, in Santiago, on Oct. 22. Chileans will be asked two questions: if they want a new constitution and who should draft it.

A Year After Protests Began, Chile’s Constitutional Referendum Goes Ahead

On Sunday, after months of protests, voters can choose to keep or begin a process of replacing the current constitution.

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The Game That Ruins Friendships and Shapes Careers

For me, Diplomacy is an addictive quarantine hobby. For my high school frenemy, it was training for the Trump administration.

Early voters line up outside of the Vienna Community Building to cast their ballots for the Nov. 3 election, in Vienna, West Virginia, on Oct. 21, 2020.

There’s Still Time (Barely) for America to Have a Free and Fair Election

Some hard-won active advice for staging a national vote during a pandemic.

Volunteers and reservists, who wish to join the Karabakh Defence Army to fight against Azerbaijani forces during the ongoing military conflict over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, take part in a military training course in Yerevan on October 22, 2020.

Pompeo Hosts Foreign Ministers From Both Sides of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

The U.S. Secretary of State has downplayed talk of a new cease-fire and plans to meet separately with each minister.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves at the crowd during celebrations of the country's 73rd Independence Day, at the Red Fort in New Delhi on Aug. 15, 2019.

Asian Nationalists Hold the Key to a More Effective U.S. China Strategy

Missing in the current U.S. debate on China is the question of Asian nationalism and how the United States could profitably align with it.

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

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

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

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How to Save Global Capitalism From Itself

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

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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.