- By Christian CarylChristian Caryl is the author of Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century. A former reporter at Newsweek, he is a senior fellow at the Legatum Institute (which co-publishes Democracy Lab with Foreign Policy) and a contributing editor at the National Interest. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books., Prachi VidwansPrachi Vidwans is the assistant editor at Democracy Lab. She holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from New York University, and has worked at several nonprofits, including Henry Street Settlement and Common Cause/NY. Specializing in political violence and human rights, Prachi has conducted extensive research on topics ranging from Occupy Wall Street to post-conflict community organization in Peru.
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Anna Nemtsova travels to Chechnya, where she finds that its people are all too eager to escape the shadow of its violent past.
Su Mon Thazin Aung reports on maneuvers by Burma’s top general to position himself for electoral politics.
Mohamed El Dahshan worries that Egypt’s post-revolutionary government is undermining entrepreneurs.
Mohamed Eljarh explains why Libya’s central government threatened to sink oil tankers docking in Barqa.
Juan Nagel examines the reasons behind the Venezuelan government’s failures to address the epidemic of violent crime.
And Asma Ghribi wonders why some Tunisians are feeling wistful toward their former dictator.
And now for this week’s recommended reads:
In the latest issue of Journal of Democracy, Andreas Schedler examines Mexico’s high rates of violence and explores how they undermine democracy. Venelin Ganev examines the links between Bulgaria’s extraordinary year of civic protest in 2013 and the legacy of 1989’s democratic revolution. And four leading democracy experts debate the validity of the "transition paradigm."
Writing for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, David Steinberg looks at scenarios for amending Burma’s constitution ahead of next year’s presidential election. The Women’s League of Burma documents the Burmese military’s systematic sexual abuse of ethnic women in conflict-ridden states.
Writing for the Atlantic Council, Dem Lab blogger Mohamed El Dahshan explains why the Egyptian government’s push to pass the new constitution undermines democracy. Matthew Hall points out that the Egyptian government also lacks a credible way to assess the referendum’s results.
In the Washington Post, Anne Applebaum asks whether Indian and Ukrainian protest movements will be able to move past slogans to develop a viable political alternative.
On OrientXXI, Peter Harling and Yasser El Shimy argue that the Muslim Brotherhood’s failure in Egypt is just one symptom of the country’s ongoing struggle with pluralism. Writing for the New York Times, David D. Kirkpatrick and Carlotta Gall compare the paths of two Arab Spring alumni: Egypt, which has fallen off the rails, and Tunisia, which has struck a precarious balance.
Tunisia Live‘s Nissaf Slama reports on the latest political brouhaha surrounding Tunisia’s outspoken political rappers.
And finally, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems lists elections to watch in 2014 — complete with a handy infographic. (One of them will be in Thailand. The photo above shows Thai nurses and doctors demonstrating on the streets of Bangkok over the weekend.)