Democracy Lab (Archive)

Democracy Lab is an online journalistic partnership set up by the Legatum Institute and Foreign Policy magazine, dedicated to covering political and economic transitions around the world.

"Readers love stories about heroic activists triumphing against the odds—those are very moving.. But they often miss the very big, important parts of the story such as what the people in a regime are thinking or what is happening in the highest military circles; Democracy Lab aims to supply a richer picture."



When World War II ended, there were only a dozen or so democracies in the world. Today, there are 115—many of which joined the club within the last decade or two—and many more, as the revolutions of 2011 showed, on the way. Theirs is the story Democracy Lab aims to track.

Edited by veteran foreign correspondent Christian CarylDemocracy Lab features a roster of leading writers and thinkers. It also hosts a daily blog, 'Transitions' produced by a global network of contributors covering change as it unfolds on the ground in countries from Burma to Egypt, as well as profiles of key political and economic players in transitional societies, detailed case studies, and a wide range of expert analysis and opinion.

As part of its work, Democracy Lab produced 'Lab Reports', offering in-depth looks at specific aspects of transitions in selected countries. Latest Lab Reports include the following countries: BurmaVenezuelaUkraineLibya and Kenya.

In September 2015, the Legatum Institute and Democracy Lab launched a collection to case studies that examine specific interventions against corruption which have produced positive results. Find out more here.

Democracy Lab 'Transitions' Bloggers


Farah Samti

Farah Samti is a former editor at Tunisia Live, Tunisia’s first news website in English, and has also published in The New York Times. Read her posts here, and follow on Twitter @Farah_SamT.


Ivgen Vorobiov

Ievgen Vorobiov is a trade policy analyst based in Ukraine. His research deals with EU-Ukraine relations and the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Read his posts here, and follow on Twitter @vorobyov.


Juan Nagel

Juan Nagel is the Venezuela blogger for Transitions, Editor of Caracas Chronicles, and author of Blogging the Revolution. Read his posts here, and follow on Twitter @juannagel.


Mohamed Eljarh

Mohamed Eljarh is the Libya blogger for Transitions and a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center. Read his posts here, and follow on Twitter @eljarh.


Wai Moe

Wai Moe is a former Burmese political prisoner turned journalist. He has worked for the Irrawaddy and, since 2012, as a stringer for the New York Times. Read his posts here, and follow on Twitter @wai_moe.