REIGN Rulers, Elections, and Irregular Governance dataset

Democracies vs Non-Democracies 1950 - 2018: Visualization by Joshua Lambert and Jean-Pierre Larroque

Public repository for the Rulers, Elections, and Irregular Governance (REIGN) dataset. The most up-to-date REIGN data is available above in the menu. Alongside the data, you will also find a link to the most current REIGN update provided by One Earth Future Research. Click on the archive menu to access a list of links for past versions of REIGN. REIGN is updated during the last week of each month. For any questions concerning this website and the current status of updates, please contact Clayton Besaw (

note: The REIGN repository is hosted on GitHub using Jekyll. Jekyll is a static website format that can cause deprecated links to appear when content is updated. If you are not seeing what you expect to see, first try to refresh your browser before reaching out to us.


The Rulers, Elections, and Irregular Governance (REIGN) dataset describes political conditions in every country each and every month. These conditions include the tenures and personal characteristics of world leaders, the types of political institutions and political regimes in effect, election outcomes and election announcements, and irregular events like coups, coup attempts and other violent conflicts. The dataset covers more than 200 countries for each month they were independent, January 1950 to the present. REIGN was created by gathering original data, compiling other datasets on political conditions, reviewing their coding rules, and updating all information to the present.

Key Outputs:


Bell, Curtis. 2016. The Rulers, Elections, and Irregular Governance Dataset (REIGN). Broomfield, CO: OEF Research. Available at

The sources used to construct REIGN include several other datasets that have been altered, extended, updated, and transformed (see Extended Technical Notes). If you use REIGN, please also consider citing:

For Leader Data:

Goemans, Henk E., Kristian Skrede Gleditch, and Giacomo Chiozza. 2009. “Introducing Archigos: A Dataset of Political Leaders” Journal of Peace Research, 46(2): 269-183.

Ellis, Cali Mortenson, Michael C. Horowitz, and Allan C. Stam. 2015. “Introducing the LEAD Data Set.” International Interactions, 41(4): 718-741.

For Political System Data:

Marshall, Monty G., Ted Robert Gurr, and Keith Jaggers. 2016. Polity IV Project. Center for Systemic Peace.

Barbara Geddes, Joseph Wright, and Erica Frantz. 2014. “Autocratic Regimes and Transitions.” Perspectives on Politics. 12(2).

For Irregular Events:

Powell, Jonathan & Clayton Thyne. 2011. Global Instances of Coups from 1950-Present. Journal of Peace Research 48(2):249-259.

Erik Melander, Therése Pettersson, and Lotta Themnér (2016) Organized violence, 1989–2015. Journal of Peace Research 53(5)