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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.

An immigrant holds a “Nobody Is Illegal” placard at a demonstration in Praça do Comércio in Lisbon on July 11, 2021.
An immigrant holds a “Nobody Is Illegal” placard at a demonstration in Praça do Comércio in Lisbon on July 11, 2021.

How Portugal Quietly Became a Migration Hub

The country has a hot labor market and offers a path to EU citizenship for undocumented workers.

A supporter of Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. holds pictures of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda Marcos, at a campaign rally
A supporter of Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. holds pictures of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda Marcos, at a campaign rally

The Echoes of America’s Hypocrisy Abroad

Decades of Western support for dictators have caused a crisis of democracy.

Cubans line up to buy food outside a store in Havana on Jan. 6.
Cubans line up to buy food outside a store in Havana on Jan. 6.

Rethinking Maximum Pressure

Washington loosens its sanctions on Cuba and Venezuela ahead of a critical summit.

Russian service members in Ukraine
Russian service members in Ukraine

Russia Is a Real Threat to NATO

Despite its failings, the Russian military is still a powerful force.

Russian energy giant Gazprom said it had stopped all gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria.
Russian energy giant Gazprom said it had stopped all gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria.

Putin’s Ukraine Gambit Was ‘Self-Defeating’

Two experts on energy and geopolitics talk about spiking prices, Russia’s war, and what that means for the climate fight.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal is displayed on a screen.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal is displayed on a screen.

Ukraine’s Other Front Line

Russia has flailed on the battlefield. But the damage inflicted on Ukraine’s economy could prove existential without Western support.

Police and soldiers stand outside a bar in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, minutes after an execution occurred inside on April 18, 2009.
Police and soldiers stand outside a bar in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, minutes after an execution occurred inside on April 18, 2009.

In the Americas, Homicide Is the Other Killer Epidemic

The good news: Lockdowns reduced crime almost everywhere else, and we know how to stop lethal violence.

Russian President Vladimir Putin watches the Victory Day parade.
Russian President Vladimir Putin watches the Victory Day parade.
A firetruck shoots a water jet to celebrate the Yemen Airways flight
A firetruck shoots a water jet to celebrate the Yemen Airways flight
Earth as seen from outer space, surrounded by darkness and distant stars
Earth as seen from outer space, surrounded by darkness and distant stars
University students speak with police during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
University students speak with police during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Demonstrators hold a placard that reads "EU, UN and US it is time for B.D.S."
Demonstrators hold a placard that reads "EU, UN and US it is time for B.D.S."
Ukrainian infantry take part in a training exercise with tanks near Dnipropetrovsk oblast, Ukraine, less than 50 miles from the front lines, on May 9.
Ukrainian infantry take part in a training exercise with tanks near Dnipropetrovsk oblast, Ukraine, less than 50 miles from the front lines, on May 9.
A person in a green jacket holding their bicycle looks out over water and coal plants.
A person in a green jacket holding their bicycle looks out over water and coal plants.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stands with Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stands with Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, speaks in front of flags at a podium.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, speaks in front of flags at a podium.
People sell vegetables under yellow tents.
People sell vegetables under yellow tents.
Solomon Islander Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare attends a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
Solomon Islander Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare attends a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
Workers load sacks of wheat on a freight train at Chawa Pail railway station in Khanna, India, on May 19.
Workers load sacks of wheat on a freight train at Chawa Pail railway station in Khanna, India, on May 19.

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

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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