Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, December 23, 2012

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, December 23, 2012

Joseph Allchin explains why the war crimes trials under way in Bangladesh show why transitional justice and party politics don’t mix.

Christian Caryl argues that treating democracy as an inevitable outcome may actually hurt the cause of democracy.

Nazila Fathi looks at how Iranian leaders are responding to the deepening economic crisis created by sanctions.

Jon Temin praises Africans for their increasing efforts to find African solutions to their problems — and the international community for giving them more space to do so.

Hilton J. Root examines the obstacles that face Turkey as it aims to lift its economy to the next level. (The image above shows Turks celebrating the presumed Mayan apocalypse.)

Kerry Cosby defends the use of the concept "civil society" even when it’s applied to authoritarian countries.

Endy Bayuni explains why President Yudhoyono’s anti-corruption drive is now rebounding against the ruling party.

Juan Nagel analyzes the results of last week’s parliamentary elections in Venezuela — and what they mean for opposition hopes as President Chávez confronts his declining health.

And Besar Likmeta reports on the surprising downfall of Serbia’s leading oligarch.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

C.J. Chivers of The New York Times presents a must-read account of the dire situation in Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city.

The International Monetary Fund publishes a working paper that takes a fresh look at "Lipset’s Law," the hypothesis that democracy is more likely to take root in countries with higher incomes. (Spoiler alert: The paper’s authors conclude that it might not be quite that simple.)

International Crisis Group offers a set of recommendations for the "cohabitation" of the two mutually antagonistic political parties that now control Georgia’s government in the wake of the recent elections there.

The Project on Middle East Political Science presents a highly topical summary of competing views on the fate of the region’s monarchies.

Iranian human rights activist Ladan Boroumand reflects on the passing of Vaclav Havel one year ago and what his example means for her compatriots.

Global Financial Integrity releases a report that introduces a new methodology for tracking illicit financial flows in the developing world.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty reports on a fascinating online exchange between International Crisis Group’s Andrew Strohlein and Uzbek First Daughter Gulnara Karimova. A must-read.

The Eurasia Foundation sums up the interview with Kyrgyzstan’s ex-President Roza Otunbayeva conducted by DemLab editor Christian Caryl at the Foundation’s Washington event last week.