Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, September 9, 2013

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, September 9, 2013

If you want to keep up with Democracy Lab in real time, be sure to follow our Twitter feed: @Democracy_Lab.

Mohamed El Dahshan road-tests the Lebanese Army’s new app — and finds a few surprises.

Christian Caryl chastises the U.S. media for keeping Americans in dark about the horrors of war.

Blair Glencorse and Charles Landow propose a more efficient version of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P).

Mohamed Eljarh explains how Libya’s worsening oil crisis is exacerbating political problems.

And as the G-20 summit gets under way in St. Petersburg, Anna Nemtsova finds out why some Russian dissidents are becoming disillusioned with President Obama.

This week’s recommended reads:

As the United States contemplates military action in Syria, experts Jeffrey White, Andrew J. Tabler, and Aaron Y. Zelin take an in-depth look at the rebels’ political beliefs and military effectiveness. (In the photo above, pro-Assad protesters congregate outside the U.S. embassy in Beirut.)

Writing for the New York Review of Books, Yasmine El Rashidi explains why media coverage of the crackdown in Egypt has missed a crucial side of the story.

The International Crisis Group’s third report on the challenges of integration in the North Caucasus analyzes the political and legal issues in the region that are preventing the establishment of fair political representation, rule of law, and other democratic norms.

Academics Alexander Thurston and Andrew Lebovitch provide a thorough rundown on a turbulent year of rebellion, coups, and violence in A Handbook on Mali’s 2012-2013 Crisis. In World Politics Review, Kamissa Camara asserts that Mali’s return to democratic government this month will not resolve the deep-rooted problems that prompted last year’s rebel occupation.

New York Times reporter Nicholas Kulish writes on Kenya’s vote to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) just as the court’s trial of the country’s leaders gets under way.

Writing for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Murray Hiebert explains why the U.S. decision to lift decades old sanctions will encourage the Burmese military to push ahead with reforms.

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Eric Postel argues that improving property rights is a prerequisite for greater food security.

In his review of Rouba Al-Fattal Eeckelaert’s new book on international election assistance in transitioning democracies, Richard Armstrong pushes back against her contention that the U.S., Canada, and the EU should support democratic elections in the Palestinian Authority — even when Hamas ends up the winner.