Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, September 30, 2013

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, September 30, 2013

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Armin Rosen argues that Somalia is doing far better than the al-Shabab attack in Kenya suggests. Declan Galvin explains why Kenya’s government should be careful about overreacting to the attacks. (The photo above shows Kenyans observing the funeral of a victim of the Westgate mall attack.)

Anna Nemtsova looks at the impact of the letter from prison written by Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.

Christian Caryl ruminates on the challenge nationalism poses to the Russian nationalist movement.

Mohamed Eljarh analyzes three possible paths to a Libyan constitution. He also argues that Benghazi’s vibrant small business culture is crucial to solving its security woes.

Juan Nagel dissects Venezuela’s unhealthy dependence on China.

Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez surveys the possibilities of Google’s new worldwide constitution database.

And Peter Tinti looks at the challenges facing Mali as it tries to rebuild its democracy.

And now for this week’s recommended reads…

Sudan’s grassroots movement, Girifna, documents the popular protests that erupted after President Omar al-Bashir cut fuel subsidies.

On Politico, Dennis Blair and Daniel Calingaert remind democratic leaders that they must take a stand against oppressive dictators.

Pranab Bardhan, writing for the Boston Review, compares two brands of development economics: the little and the big.

The Carnegie Endowment’s Ashraf El-Sherif outlines how Egypt’s besieged Muslim Brotherhood might fight to maintain its power.

The International Crisis Group examines policy toward Yemen’s restive South as the country’s transition misses deadlines.

The Burma Partnership blames the Burmese army for the continued violence in ethnic states.

The Atlantic Council’s Frederic C. Hof picks apart the United States’ reason for snubbing the Syrian interim government. The Council also criticizes U.S. and European inaction toward the struggling countries of the Arab Spring in a report by Danya Greenfield, Amy Hawthorne, and Rosa Balfour.

In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof argues that we may see the end of extreme poverty in less than twenty years.