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Democracy Lab: is a unique journalistic effort to cover the transition from authoritarianism to democracy the world over

http://democracylab.foreignpolicy.com

The current wave of revolution sweeping through the Arab world shows us, once again, that the transition from authoritarianism to democracy faces many political and economic challenges. In view of this, the award-winning magazine Foreign Policy together with the Legatum Institute, an independent, public-policy group based in London, have come together to foster a project to study the complexities involved in transitions from authoritarianism to democracy in an online "laboratory".

From a multi-viewpoint which tackles the issue from a myriad of angles and includes diverse aspects that do not always make it into the headlines, Democracy Lab publishes a wide variety of materials including blogs, columns, expert interviews, case studies, profiles of key political and economic decision-makers, a weekly feature examining the numbers behind social change and a weekly news bulletin.

The project, launched in January, includes contributions from reporters around the world, incorporating the voices from many nations and already boasts many remarkable contributions such as the first article published on the website, "The Drive for Dignity", in which philosopher Francis Fukuyama points out the following: "The desire for recognition is thus a two-edged sword. It underlies the anger that powers social mobilization and revolt against abusive government, but it often becomes attached to ascriptive identities that undermine the universality of rights. Now that three dictatorships have fallen in the Arab world, with a fourth and fifth possibly on their way, this is the struggle that will play itself out".

L.v.T.