REIGN DATASET: International Elections and Leaders



REIGN Dataset Author: 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 click the links below.

The dataset is updated during the last week of each month. For questions, recommended corrections, and past versions of the data (dating to October 2016), please contact Curtis Bell at

REIGN Variable Descriptions (PDF)
REIGN Extended Technical Notes (PDF)
For more extensive data access and in-depth technical documents, please visit our GitHub repository.


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) {{}}

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