What we do
Democratic Audit is an independent research unit based at the Public Policy Group in the LSE’s Government Department. Our core objective is to advance democracy and freedom, and to undertake and promote research into their quality, durability and effectiveness in a UK context.
We are grant funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust to conduct research into the quality of democracy in the UK. We also monitor democracy and freedom in Britain through a major daily blog, a series of democracy assessments, reports and commissions, and through evidence to Parliament and official bodies.
Democratic Audit was originally set up in 1991 by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust through two partners – Charter88 and the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. Until the early 2000s, the Audit was based at the Human Rights Centre, at the University of Essex, but scholars and experts from all over Britain and the world have long worked with us on our projects and reports.
The move to the LSE has seen a move towards a more continuous monitoring format, using blogs, mini-reports, e-books and updates that are shorter and better suited to reaching larger audiences of citizens and political elites in a timely way.
We also published comprehensive election data for the UK the Democratic Dashboard project and are developing comparative data aspects so that journalists, academics, politicians and citizens can all more easily see how UK is leading or lagging behind other comparable countries in our democratic and constitutional practices.
We want to contribute to refreshing and renewing local democratic debate, working with citizen groups to improve the information that is easily digitally available to all UK citizens about elections, political life and democracy in their own area.
The Democratic Audit blog was launched in July 2013, and receives thousands of views every week. It is edited by Ros Taylor (@rosamundmtaylor and email firstname.lastname@example.org) and features contributions from high level academics, campaigners and experts on all elements of British democracy and human rights.
The co-Directors of Democratic Audit are Professor Patrick Dunleavy and Dr Jonathan Hopkin.