Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, February 10, 2014

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, February 10, 2014

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Christian Caryl argues that Americans’ infatuation with Pussy Riot is just the latest example of chronic wishful thinking about Russia in the West.

Anna Nemtsova explains why some Russians are mourning the loss of the Sochi they once treasured.

Sergii Leshchenko tracks the shifting political sympathies of Ukraine’s oligarchs.

Mohamed Eljarh reports on a watershed moment in Libya’s transition and looks at growing restrictions on freedom of the press.

Asma Ghribi examines whether the new constitution will lead to changes in Tunisia’s discriminatory inheritance laws.

Juan Nagel mourns the death of Venezuelan newspapers, which can’t afford the paper they’re printed on.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

In a special report, Freedom House analyzes the serious challenges now facing Turkey’s democratic institutions — especially the press. In the New York Times, Suzy Hansen looks at the sequence of events that has led to the current crisis.

In the Moscow Times, Robert Orttung and Christopher Walker explain why state control of the media is the common denominator of all authoritarian regimes.

The Economist examines the long-term dangers inherent in Egypt’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and other political opponents. (In the photo above, foreign journalists stage a protest to demand the release of jailed Al Jazeera reporter Peter Greste.)

Writing in Foreign Policy, Caroline Freund explains how Egypt and Tunisia’s divergent paths reflect the trade versus aid debate. The Atlantic Council’s Danya Greenfield outlines what Libya can learn from Yemen.

Writing for Kyoto Review, Elliott Prasse-Freeman contends that the world is turning its back on Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi.

David J. Kramer offers President Obama the seven "don’ts" of democracy promotion in response to this year’s State of the Union address.

In the Financial Times, Borzou Daragahi considers the apparent paradox of Libya’s booming retail industry at a moment of profound political turmoil.

In a memo for the Project on Middle Eastern Political Science, Roel Meijer takes a fresh look at political Islam in the wake of the Arab Spring — and explains why Salafi movements have ultimately proved more successful at adapting to changing circumstances than the Muslim Brotherhood.