Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, January 27, 2014

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, January 27, 2014

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Jeffrey Sachs, responding to his opponents in a long-running debate, makes the case that well-managed development aid can eradicate poverty and disease. William Easterly, in his rebuttal, insists that the debate really is over — and that the traditional model of aid simply hasn’t delivered.

Erica Marat explains why Ukraine’s riot police are part of the problem in that country’s burgeoning crisis. (In the photo above, anti-government protesters throw Molotov cocktails over barricades in Kiev’s central square.)

Firat Demir warns that the actions of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan are undermining democratic institutions.

Juan Nagel tells the strange tale behind the current feud between international airlines and Venezuela’s government.

Mohamed Eljarh reports on Libya’s efforts to reboot its tourism industry.

And Christian Caryl outlines the challenges that come with booming growth (and population) in Africa.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

In its annual Freedom in the World report, Freedom House presents in-depth analysis of the state of democracy around the globe — and the conclusions it draws are less than heartening.

The Guardian and CNN publish details of a dramatic report detailing evidence of "systematic killing" under Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Oxfam International issues a startling study of global economic inequality and its effects on the developing world.

In Foreign Affairs, Annabelle Chapman profiles the three leaders of Ukraine’s Euromaidan protests.

Writing for the Washington Post, Michele Dunne and Thomas Carothers reject the notion that Egypt is "transitioning to democracy." In a report for the Atlantic Council, Amy Hawthorne argues that the United States can still do much to promote progress toward democracy in Egypt despite the current setbacks there.

In another Atlantic Council report, Karim Mezran and Duncan Pickard outline some of the challenges that currently threaten the drafting of Libya’s constitution.

The Institute of Modern Russia documents the struggle of Russia’s political prisoners in its new special project.

In its World Report, Human Rights Watch shows how the Thai government’s failure to censure the perpetrators of horrific human rights violations is only abetting additional abuse.

And finally, Democracy Lab editor Christian Caryl and Stanford democracy expert Larry Diamond participate in an online debate on the fate of global democracy sponsored by the Economist.