Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, September 16, 2013

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, September 16, 2013

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Chris Stephen assesses the grim situation in Libya one year after the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. DemLab editor Christian Caryl contends that this is the international community’s last chance to help Libya find its way to democracy.

Maikel Nabil Sanad proposes four benchmarks for a democratic Egypt.

Tik Root reports on a once marginal political movement that has become a major participant in Yemen’s national dialogue.

Tomas Bridle explains why democracy promoters should rely on a variety of tools.

Dalibor Rohac urges Egyptian policymakers to follow the example of Eastern Europe by pushing hard and fast for economic reform.

Juan Nagel reveals the Syria-Venezuela connection, even as Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro sends a "rambling missive" to U.S. President Barack Obama.

Min Zin explains that though Burmese President Thein Sein hopes for a timely end to the civil war, peace in Burma is coming down to political maneuvering.

This week’s recommended reads:

In an open letter on the Lancet, doctors plead with armed forces in Syria to stop attacking medical centers, ambulances, health-care professionals, and patients, and allow their medical colleagues to treat the wounded. In the photo above, Syrian men evacuate a victim of an air strike by regime forces in Aleppo. 

As Zarni Mannn reports for the Irrawaddy, Burmese President Thein Sein met for the first time with members of the 88 Generation Students, a group that was instrumental in the 1988 pro-democracy uprising, as part of his plan to release all political prisoners by the end of the year.

The New York Times‘s Jeffrey Gettleman interviews Rwandan president Paul Kagame.

Writing in the Nation, Sarah Carr presents a dark portrait of post-coup Egypt.

The Atlantic‘s Nick Danforth explains why colonial-era borders can’t be blamed for all the ills of today’s Middle East.

Alakbar Raufoglu, reporting for SES Turkiye, explains why a video of police officers beating a Turkish protestor could have serious consequences for Turkey’s prime minister.

Vikram Nehru, writing for the Carnegie Endowment, argues that Indonesia’s succesful elections don’t necessarily mean that the country has genuine political competition.

Adow Jubat reports on the false promise of devolution in Kenya’s Northern Frontier, where inter-clan conflict has exploded into violent clashes.

And the Guardian‘s Music Blog explains how a taboo-breaking Lebanese band is shifting political boundaries.