Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, November 12, 2012

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, November 12, 2012

Mac Margolis explains why Brazilian political consultants are all the rage in Latin America and beyond.

Min Zin anticipates President Obama’s planned trip to Burma and what it might mean for the development of the country’s democracy.

Pedro Pizano and Jamie Leigh Hancock offer a rare glimpse inside one of Africa’s harshest dictatorships.

Based on an interview with Transparency International co-founder Laurence Cockcroft, Christian Caryl contends that corruption is set to become one of the defining political issues of the twenty-first century.

Liana Aghajanian reports on Armenians’ revolt against the political and economic power of business tycoons.

Azzurra Meringolo interviews the leading Bahraini human rights activist Maryam al-Khawaja.

Juan Nagel looks ahead to the approaching state elections in Venezuela and wonders whether the opposition will have a chance.

And Endy Bayuni tells the sad story of a scandal over judges with poor judgement.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart, writing for the Legatum Institute, present an outline for a post-war transition in Syria.  

Democracy Digest examines Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s vow to stay no matter what, and analyzes the impact of his statement on the continuing civil war.

Writing for the Center for International Policy Studies, Alexandra Gheciu examines the possibility of military intervention in Mali.

At Jadaliyya, Fawwaz Traboulsi maps out the political opportunities that the Arab Spring has provided to the forces of the left — and suggests how they might be exploited.

Shannon K. O’Neil at the Council on Foreign Relations analyzes how U.S. state votes on the decriminalization of marijuana will affect drug policies in Latin America.

Radio Free Asia provides a profile of the "multimedia monk" who has been campaigning for human rights in Cambodia.

The Economist presents a video report on the ethnic violence in western Burma.

Golnaz Esfandiari, author of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty’s Persian Letters blogs, provides a unique look into the mindset of one of Iran’s basij paramilitaries.

At Al-Akhbar English, Sarah El Sirgany offers an intriguing comparison of the U.S. and Eygptian presidential elections.