Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, July 15, 2013

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, July 15, 2013

This week, Democracy Lab provides a series of Lab Reports on Burma: Gwen Robinson reports on an intensifying power struggle inside the country. Bertil Lintner argues that the military continues to dominate despite recent reforms. And Francis Wade explores the challenges that face the media amid the country’s fitful liberalization.

Meanwhile, blogger Min Zin looks at the growing political cooperation between opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and parliamentary powerbroker Shwe Mann.

Robert Looney explains why the economic legacy of apartheid lives on in today’s South Africa.

Christian Caryl reflects on the sad history of governments killing demonstrators.

Anna Nemtsova spends a day in Moscow’s airport waiting for Edward Snowden, and observes Russian officials working overtime to limit everyday freedoms.

Juan Nagel analyzes Venezuela’s motives for offering Edward Snowden political asylum.

Elizabeth Braw interviews U.N. Women’s Lakshmi Puri about the problems widows face around the world.

And Mohamed Eljarh reports on how Libyans are using fashion as a form of political self-expression.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

At the website of the Overseas Development Institute, Alina Rocha Menocal presents a set of striking infographics on democracy and elections.

Global Post presents a remarkable multimedia report on a changing Burma.

In Foreign Affairs, Thomas Hegghammer and Aaron Y. Zelin examine the implications of an influential Sunni cleric’s call to arms in Syria. Reuters describes how the killing of a moderate rebel commander by al Qaeda is deepening splits within the opposition.

Alice Fordham, writing for The National, reports on Egypt’s politically divided Islamists after the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood. In the Egypt Independent, Mohamed El-Sayed Abdel Gawad analyzes the success of Egypt’s Tamarod campaign. Zach Beauchamp surveys the political theories behind the Egyptian military’s overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government.

Radio Free Asia provides a bleak update on missing Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone.

Writing for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, Svante Cornell recommends the United States take a firmer stance on Turkey, especially on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Reuters reports on the continued fighting between Democratic Republic of the Congo’s army and M23 rebels. The photo above shows a government army tank stationed in a town near the fighting.

The Atlantic Council issues a brief on the future of political parties once Tunisia’s new constitution is finished.

And in New Eastern Europe, Pawel Kowal argues that it’s time for the international community to reach out to Ukraine’s oligarchs.