Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, July 29, 2013

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, July 29, 2013

As Zimbabwe prepares for a fateful election, opposition activist Roy Bennett explains why it’s time for his compatriots to put Robert Mugabe behind them. Marian Tupy looks at what the country needs to do to revive its dismal economy. 

Alex Cobham makes the case for doing away with Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. Suchita Mandavilli breaks down the data from TI’s Global Corruption Barometer.

Ihsan Dagi argues that Turkey’s history of military intervention shouldn’t be regarded as a positive precedent for Egypt.

Juan Nagel reports on the unexpectedly icy reception given to the Venezuelan opposition leader during his recent visit to Chile.

Min Zin examines the legacy of decades of top-down social engineering in Burma.

Christian Caryl ruminates on the mysterious dynamics of mass political protests.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

Edmund Blair, Paul Taylor, and Tom Perry, reporting for Reuters, present a special report on how the Muslim Brotherhood fell out of power in Egypt. Blogging for the Huffington Post, Dalia Mogahed argues that the Egyptian military is creating an environment that is conducive to extremism.

At Devex, Michael Igoe contends that U.S. aid could help Myanmar become a an environmentally savvy regional leader.

Syria Deeply’s Annabell Van den Berghe tells the unlikely story of a Syrian farmer turned makeshift oil producer. Writing for the Atlantic Council, Ross Wilson examines the factors behind growing tension among Syrians, Turks, and Kurds.

On his blog Dart-Throwing Chimp, Jay Ulfelder offers some intriguing visualizations of data on state-sponsored mass killings.

The Economist examines the reasons for slowing growth in emerging economies.

Colin O’Connor, writing for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, reports on Macedonia’s failure to properly respond to the violence during the country’s first-ever Gay Pride Week.

The Guardian reports on the political crisis in Tunisia triggered by the killing of leading left-wing politician Mohamed Brahmi (see photo above). Joshua Hammer offers an in-depth look at Tunisia’s troubled revolution for The New York Review of Books.

And finally, The Economist serves up an unforgettable obituary of a Burmese drug lord.