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.

Afghan army trainees inside a helicopter simulator at a military base in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Oct. 21, 2009. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

‘Ghost Soldiers’: Too Many U.S.-Trained Afghans Are Going AWOL

Some 13 percent of Afghan military personnel training in the United States last year went AWOL.

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces stand guard next to a bridge in Manbij, northern Syria, on June 23, 2016. (Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian Reconstruction Spells Juicy Contracts for Russian, Iranian Firms

Bombed-out cities meant death and destruction. Now they promise billions of dollars — for new construction.

Chongqing Communist Party Secretary Chen Miner attends the 19th Party Congress in Beijing on Oct. 19. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Xi Jinping Has Quietly Chosen His Own Successor

Meet Chen Miner, the man who has been getting groomed to run China — without anyone in the West seeming to notice.

The Afghan army conducts a controlled explosion during a military exercise on the outskirts of Kabul on April 30, 2014. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

Pentagon Report: IED Casualties Surge in Afghanistan

Roadside bomb attacks are falling overall, except in Afghanistan.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Oct. 18. (Jason Connolly/AFP/Getty Images)

Jeff Sessions Just Confessed His Negligence on Russia

The attorney general is aware of the threat Moscow poses to American elections — he just hasn’t done anything about it.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly speaks during a White House briefing Oct. 19 in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

This Whole Gold Star Mess

Trump does not appear to understand military service

U.S. service members walk off a helicopter on the runway at Camp Bost on Sept. 11 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

My time in the rotation helps show why our approach in Afghanistan is doomed

The U.S. military’s way of operating in Afghanistan is a recipe for failure.

The Latest

This week on Rational Security, the panel discusses Trump, Iran, and Russian trolls.

Rational Security on The E.R.: The “Decertified” Edition

Trump deems Iran in violation of the “worst deal ever.”

Afghan army trainees inside a helicopter simulator at a military base in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Oct. 21, 2009. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

‘Ghost Soldiers’: Too Many U.S.-Trained Afghans Are Going AWOL

Some 13 percent of Afghan military personnel training in the United States last year went AWOL.

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces stand guard next to a bridge in Manbij, northern Syria, on June 23, 2016. (Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian Reconstruction Spells Juicy Contracts for Russian, Iranian Firms

Bombed-out cities meant death and destruction. Now they promise billions of dollars — for new construction.

Chongqing Communist Party Secretary Chen Miner attends the 19th Party Congress in Beijing on Oct. 19. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Xi Jinping Has Quietly Chosen His Own Successor

Meet Chen Miner, the man who has been getting groomed to run China — without anyone in the West seeming to notice.

In the Magazine

In the Magazine

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This Land Is Their Land

Immigration is inevitable. When will the West learn that it promises salvation — not destruction?

SeptOct_Beals_topimage

Rescuing Migrants From a Couch in Galicia

How a school administrator in Spain is helping save refugees with little more than fervor and a phone.

On the Edge of Afghanistan

A decimated economy, a resurgent Taliban, and growing tensions with Iran are driving disenchanted Afghans to seek opportunities abroad. And for many it’s their only option.

Highway Through Hell

The human-smuggling route across the Sahara may have been the deadliest on Earth. Then the EU paid Niger’s army to shut it down — and made it even more treacherous.

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Global Thinkers 2015 Issue Cover