Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, April 01, 2013

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, April 01, 2013

A happy Easter to all those celebrating this week!

In the latest for our new Putinology column, Anna Nemtsova reveals the unruly forces that are troubling the Kremlin’s security services. 

Juan Nagel bemoans the absurdity of Nicolás Maduro’s presidential campaign in Venezuela.

Mohamed Eljarh assesses a weak point in Libya’s media reform that is essential to the country’s democratic transition.

Jonathan Morduch and Timothy Ogden advocate using microfinance to meet the real financial needs of the world’s poor.

Min Zin argues that Burma’s political elite have failed their country in preventing a recurring pattern of ethnic violence.

Mohamed El Dahshan makes an emotional appeal not to ignore the struggling revolution in Bahrain. He also criticizes the latest foreign relations decisions of the Egyptian government.

Greg Rushford argues that it’s not just the world’s advanced economies driving trade inequality.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

Reporting for The New York Times, Alissa J. Rubin shares the economic hardships forcing an Afghani father to give away his daughter, and the government that won’t support him.

In a new paper for the New America Foundation, Philip Napoli and Jonathan Obar examine the global phenomenon where new internet users are gaining access by using cell phones instead of computers.

International Crisis Group assesses the growing discontent in Eritrea and the potential for a violent power struggle.

In a recent Issue Perspective for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Stephen Engelken argues that India and Pakistan need to expand their trade ties in order to maintain peace in South Asia.

Kishore Mahbubani responds to Francis Fukuyama’s essay "What is governance?" by arguing that good governance is possible without democracy.

Following Russia’s latest crackdown on non-profits and activists, Russian journalist Masha Gessen writes for the International Herald Tribune, comparing the tactics to the Soviet Union.