Democratic Audit UK

Democratic Audit UK is an independent research organisation, established as a not-for-profit company, and based at the London School of Economics. It is the parent organisation of Democratic Audit – Scotland.

Our core objective is to advance education, and to undertake and promote research into, the quality and effectiveness of UK democracy.

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 have also begun to develop plans to increase the accessibility of election data at all levels through the Democratic Dashboard project and also 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 seek to contribute to refreshing and renewing the well-springs of 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 local area.

The Democratic Audit blog has been live since July 2013, and already receives over 2000 unique views every week. It is edited by a Managing Editors, 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.