Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, March 25, 2013

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, March 25, 2013

Anna Nemtsova sends a dispatch from Moscow on the absurdity of the Russian legal system, following the latest hearing against a deceased Russian anti-corruption lawyer.

From Princeton’s Innovations for Successful Societies, Michael Scharff explains India’s new tool in preventing electoral violence — and bringing safe elections to the world’s largest democracy.

Isobel Coleman offers guidelines on how Egypt can quit its dependence on foreign subsidies and bring financial stability to the country.

Kristin M. Lord and Jacqueline Wilson commend the successful efforts behind bringing peaceful elections to Kenya this past month despite a history of violence. Meanwhile, Alina Rocha Menocal argues that even though Kenya’s elections were peaceful this time around, it doesn’t prove a democracy.

Amid democratic backsliding in the Eurasia region, Melinda Haring and Michael Cecire pinpoint the (lack of) rule of law in explaining the overall failures of the color revolutions.

Libyan blogger Mohamed Eljarh emphasizes the need to enshrine freedom of religion in the new constitution amidst rising persecution of Christians in the country by Islamists.

And Democracy Lab editor Christian Caryl assesses efforts within the U.S. military to help spread democracy in more subtle ways.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

For the first time, Global Witness publishes their footage that exposes the blatant and widespread corruption of the Taib family in Sarawak, Malaysia. For more background, read last week’s column on the autocratic state that Abdul Taib Mahmud has built.

In an emotional TED Talk, Hyeonseo Lee reveals the overwhelming challenges North Koreans refugees face after escaping their country.   

In a brief for the Atlantic Council, Laura Linderman highlights Georgia’s key political players and priorities six months after a historic transfer of power. At EurasiaNet, Tamada Tales blogger Giorgi Lomsadze considers the possibility that Georgia’s military contribution in the intervention in Mali may boost their candidacy to join the European Union.

Radio Free Asia releases their findings in a report on Burma’s progress in increasing openness via communications technology.

In The National Interest, Dalibor Rohac makes a case for swift reform in Egypt’s subsidy nightmare. 

Writing in Think Africa Press, Benedikt Erforth and George Deffner question the underlying motivations of France’s interventions in Mali.

In The Majalla, Malik al-Abdeh shares the pains and frustrations of being a member of the Syrian opposition abroad. 

In The American, Alan W. Dowd stresses the need for continuing the promotion of democratic freedoms in his review of Towards a Worldwide Index of Human Freedom.

And in the protest-of-the-day, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty follows Belarusian opposition activists (pictured above) as they march through the streets of Minsk to mark “Freedom Day,” commemorating independence in 1918 — and in direct protest to the current regime of Alexander Lukashenka.


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