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The ‘International Desk’ is Moving

‘Moving’ is the operative word these days at FiveThirtyEight, with the re-launch of the site as part of the NY Times looming and change afoot all around. Coincidentally, this is also the case for the physical locale of the international desk here.

After two good years here in Europe, I will be packing things up for a transatlantic move to South America, with Quito, Ecuador as the final destination.

Naturally, this should improve the quality and focus of our coverage of Latin American politics and elections, as part of an overall effort to continually broaden and improve the international affairs section of the site. That said, this won’t entail any big changes in the character or coverage choices of the international desk — OECD country elections, politics of the Middle East and South Asia, and African affairs will remain high on the agenda. As we move forward, however, the hope is that other areas that have been less considered here, such as East and Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Southern Africa, will be included more and more often.

The lifestyle change should be interesting. While I’ve spent plenty of time in lowest and highest parts of the income and development scale with Switzerland, US and France on one end and Sierra Leone on the other, Ecuador is very much the (upper) middle ground. In practical terms, of course, the cost of living is far far less (Geneva in the top 5 most expensive cities on the planet, Quito as one of the cheapest).

Renard Sexton is FiveThirtyEight’s international affairs columnist. He can be contacted at