REIGN DATASET: International Elections and Leaders

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Wrapping up

August 2021 marked the last scheduled monthly update of the REIGN database and the CoupCast project. CoupCast was created by a team at One Earth Future in 2016 as a part of OEF’s commitment to developing evidence-based approaches to understanding the risks of conflict, and the REIGN database was developed as a part of that project. It’s been a valuable tool for our understanding of the risks of coups and instability, and something we know has been a useful part of the larger research and policy discussion around coups.

However, based on our ongoing development of OEF’s strategic plan, continuing CoupCast further does not align as directly with our current focus on broader issues of coordination than other new programming initiatives.

While data collected by OEF through August 2021 remains available on the Dataset page, data collection for REIGN and ongoing coup risk estimation for Coupcast has been ceased. 


Developed by Curtis Bell, 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:

  • Political conditions in every sovereign state are updated monthly to the present
  • Includes information about more than 2,300 individual leaders in 201 different countries
  • Provides new data about election announcements, delays, and outcomes
  • Includes information about current conditions and scheduled future events, making it ideal for event forecasting.


REIGN consists of over 130,000 leader-month observations. To download the data, as well as shorter lists of leaders, political systems, election events, and instances of irregular governance, please visit our GitHub repository.