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Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, August 19, 2013

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, August 19, 2013

In this week’s series of Lab Reports on Libya, Chris Stephen explains why the revolution has stalled and gauges efforts for getting it back on track. Fayruz Abulhadi offers an incisive analysis of Libya’s continuing economic malaise. And Fadil Aliriza examines the vital role of civil society organizations in the country’s efforts to find its way toward a functioning democracy. 

In the latest of his coverage from Libya, Democracy Lab editor Christian Caryl looks at the rise of the country’s de facto city-states through the prism of the unlikely success story of Misrata. Mohamed Eljarh provides an update on the latest maneuverings of militias in Tripoli. 

Mohamed El Dahshan explains why the recent horrors in Egypt make for a fire that will burn us all.

Min Zin reports on the 25th anniversary of the uprising that launched Burma’s struggle for democracy — and explains why activists are still working to fulfill the aims of the movement that began in 1988.

Juan Nagel draws lessons from Venezuela’s recent history and applies them to the post-coup situation in Egypt. 

Jonathan Schienberg reports on the simmering popular discontent in Jordan — and why the willingness to compromise may be running out. 

Abdalla Khader argues that it’s time for Palestinians to start focusing on conducting new elections rather than wasting time on talk of reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. 

And in Democracy Lab’s latest collaboration with Princeton’s Innovations for Successful Societies, Rushda Majeed shows how Kenya has forged ahead with efforts to use information technology to expose the workings of government. 

And now for this week’s recommended reads: 

Hani Sabra and Bassem Sabry, writing for Al-Monitor, take issue with Tawakol Karman’s contention (in her recent piece for FP) that Mohamed Morsy is the Nelson Mandela of the Arab world. David Gardner of Financial Times explains why the U.S. has far less pull over the Egyptian military than many would think. Slate’s William Dobson slams President Obama for his ineffectual reaction to the crisis in Cairo. 

Writing in The Atlantic, Michael Marcusa describes his experience spending quality time with militant Tunisian salafis.

Samer Abboud of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs analyzes the role of Syria’s business elite in the civil war and how the international community can enlist its aid to prefer for a postwar order. Hugh Eakin reports for The New York Review of Books on how the refugee crisis in Lebanon is forcing the two sides in the Syrian civil war to form unlikely alliances. 

In a prescient article for Foreign Affairs (written before this week’s crackdown on pro-Morsy demonstrators), Erica Chenoweth analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of sit-in protests. 

Is freedom from bad governance as important as freedom from foreign governance? That’s the question posed by Srivatsa Krishna in his op-ed for The Indian Times.

Al Jazeera reports on the outcome of Mali’s first post-conflict election. The photo above shows a second round vote count.

And Time‘s Bobby Ghosh makes the case that international policymakers should stop regarding Egypt as the center of the Arab world.

Democracy Lab will be taking its annual August break starting today; for the next two weeks we’ll be republishing some of our favorite pieces.