Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, January 14, 2013

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, January 14, 2013

In a no-holds-barred response to last week’s DemLab article by Rick Rowden, Charles Robertson and Michael Moran explain why they’re convinced that Africa’s economic rise is real.

Robert Looney tells the surprising tale of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s conversion to capitalism — and the political risks he confronts as a result.

Robyn Meredith reports on the challenges that face China as it tries to make the high-stakes shift to an economy driven by domestic consumption rather than exports.

In the latest of our continuing series of collaborations with Princeton’s Innovations for Successful Societies, Michael Schraff recounts the formidable challenges surmounted by Liberia as it organized its first post-civil war election.

Jonathan Pincus argues that Indonesia’s boom will be short-lived if it doesn’t start investing in its people.

And Neha Paliwal contends that India’s problem is with people, not just women.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

In the Egyptian Independent, Hafsa Halawa gives a first-person account of the government crackdown on civil society groups.

Writing for Slate, Lawrence Weschler makes the case for why Bahrain’s activist Al-Khawaja family should be nominated for the Nobel Prize. In The Atlantic, Larry Diamond accuses the Obama administration of betraying Bahrain’s would-be democrats. (You can read Democracy Lab’s interview with Maryam Al-Khawaja, one of FP’s 2012 Global Thinkers, here.)

On NPR’s All Things Considered, Anthony Kuhn wonders whether the West may have been too hasty in removing sanctions on Burma, given the country’s continuing war on Kachin insurgents.

The Brookings Institution lays out the top priorities for Africa in 2013.

The new issue of The Journal of Democracy reports on the prospects for democracy in China, how to fight corruption through collective action, and the fate of the Arab Spring.

The Quilliam Foundation offers a detailed look at Jabhat al-Nusra, the leading jihadi group among the Syrian rebels.

The United States Institute of Peace presents a report that examines how young Afghans see their country’s future.

Writing in Jadaliyya, Samar Al-Balushi offers a skeptical take on the International Criminal Court.

Finally, be sure to check out the remarkable documentary Tropicalia, which describes the boom in Brazilian pop music during the 1960s military dictatorship — an intriguing exploration of the tensions between authoritarianism and creativity. 

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