Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, March 18, 2013

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, March 18, 2013

Andrew Lebovich reports on the drug war that’s fueling corruption in Mali — and may pose a greater threat to the country’s institutions than terrorism.

Mohamed Eljarh argues that the self-prescribed exile of a Libyan member of government should be a wake-up call for political unification.

Juan Nagel observes that the presidential candidacy of Venezuela’s Henrique Capriles is tantamount to a death wish.

In the latest of our continuing series of collaborations with Princeton’s Innovations for Successful Societies, Varanya Chaubey, Amy Mawson and Gabriel Kuris tell the story of how Guyana succeeded in overcoming ethnic tensions to have a peaceful election in 2006.

Finally, Christian Caryl explains how a British activist’s quixotic fight against one of the Malaysian government’s powerful allies could affect the approaching general election in that country.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

Ned Parker and Raheem Salman profile Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in World Policy Journal.

Writing for Majalla, Syrian exile Malik Al-Abdeh describes how two years of bloody civil war in his homeland has changed his life.

In The Atlantic, Jeffrey Tayler interviews Inna Shevchenko, the leader of the controversial activist group FEMEN.

Also in The Atlantic, Jake Spring reports in on the difficulties Burma’s journalists face in starting from scratch after decades of media suppression.

In the Washington Post, Simon Denyer tells the story of one of Burma’s most established dissidents, who is now aiming his criticisms not only at the government but also at pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Time magazine’s Fareed Zakaria argues that the failure to write new constitutions is the main flaw hampering transitions in the Arab Spring countries.

Chris Blattman, Alexandra Hartman, and Rob Blair present a new paper on how to promote property rights in situations where the rule of law is weak.

And finally, in a new paper published in the journal Governance, Francis Fukuyama asks (fittingly enough) "What is Governance?"