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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.

A close up of Erdogan's face is shown with the NATO logo behind it.
A close up of Erdogan's face is shown with the NATO logo behind it.

What Erdogan Gets by Being a Spoiler in NATO

Being disruptive in the alliance is a good political strategy for Turkey’s leader.

Pete Buttigieg stands with his arm around his husband Chasten behind a podium with a U.S. flag in the background.
Pete Buttigieg stands with his arm around his husband Chasten behind a podium with a U.S. flag in the background.

‘Will I See a Gay President in My Lifetime? Absolutely.’

James Kirchick chronicles how the persecution of gay men in Washington tragically altered 20th-century foreign policy.

An upside down U.S. flag is shown with the U.S. Supreme Court building in the background.
An upside down U.S. flag is shown with the U.S. Supreme Court building in the background.

America Is Losing Its Value Proposition

The future will not be pretty for the United States if it cannot rediscover some of the idealism that marked its long rise.

United Nations troops fight in the streets of Seoul, South Korea, on Sept. 20, 1950.
United Nations troops fight in the streets of Seoul, South Korea, on Sept. 20, 1950.

Ukraine Is the Korean War Redux

Russia’s invasion heralds the transition to a new global order—but it will be less stable than the Cold War.

Members of the Student Federation of India push against a police barrier during a protest against the government's new Agnipath recruitment plan in Chennai, India, on June 22.
Members of the Student Federation of India push against a police barrier during a protest against the government's new Agnipath recruitment plan in Chennai, India, on June 22.

Has India’s Military Recruitment Plan Backfired?

The Agnipath plan has triggered protests among potential soldiers and criticism from veterans, but it’s not likely to dent Modi’s government.

North Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski
North Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski

EU Enlargement Is Broken in the Balkans

Ukraine and Moldova are shortlisted for the European Union. Ask North Macedonia how that went.

Police block abortion rights protesters in Texas.
Police block abortion rights protesters in Texas.

China Owned My Mother’s Womb. Texas Owns Mine.

On both sides of the Pacific, women are fighting for their rights.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Madrid on June 28.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Madrid on June 28.
Russian soldiers wear chemical protection suits as they stand next to model of Russian Topol intercontinental ballistic missile during a training session at the Serpukhov's military missile forces research institute some 100km outside Moscow on April 6, 2010.
Russian soldiers wear chemical protection suits as they stand next to model of Russian Topol intercontinental ballistic missile during a training session at the Serpukhov's military missile forces research institute some 100km outside Moscow on April 6, 2010.
A close-up of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's head
A close-up of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's head
Tanay and the unnamed paying guest in the film "Cobalt Blue."
Tanay and the unnamed paying guest in the film "Cobalt Blue."
Ukrainian soldiers fire a French CAESAR self-propelled howitzer at Russian positions near the front line in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine on June 15.
Ukrainian soldiers fire a French CAESAR self-propelled howitzer at Russian positions near the front line in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine on June 15.
G-7 leaders pose for a group photo.
G-7 leaders pose for a group photo.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos arrives for a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the U.K. diplomatic residence in New York City on Sept. 20, 2021.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos arrives for a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the U.K. diplomatic residence in New York City on Sept. 20, 2021.
Members of the Indigenous Sámi community march during a Fridays for Future protest in Jokkmokk, northern Sweden, on Feb. 7, 2020, the Sámi National Day.
Members of the Indigenous Sámi community march during a Fridays for Future protest in Jokkmokk, northern Sweden, on Feb. 7, 2020, the Sámi National Day.
Castillo sits in a dark room beside other people, with a slight frown on his face.
Castillo sits in a dark room beside other people, with a slight frown on his face.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is greeted by NATO Secretary General during the NATO summit at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters in Brussels on June 14, 2021.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is greeted by NATO Secretary General during the NATO summit at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters in Brussels on June 14, 2021.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gestures as he speaks during a press conference ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on June 27.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gestures as he speaks during a press conference ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on June 27.

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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