Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, March 3, 2014

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, March 3, 2014

To catch Democracy Lab in real time, follow us on Twitter: @FP_DemLab.

Timothy Snyder explains why Russia’s intervention in Crimea could one day rebound against it. Christian Caryl satirizes the logic behind Vladimir Putin’s extension of protection to "Russian-speakers" throughout Ukraine.

Anna Nemtsova witnesses the brutal effectiveness of Russia’s efforts to suppress dissent even as neighboring Ukraine mounts a revolution.

Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez tells the story of the former Venezuelan general that protesters are protecting from arrest. Jeffrey Tayler profiles Maria Machado, the protest leader many analysts of Venezuela have overlooked.

Pedro Pizano explains why the currency of human rights is being debased.

Mohamed Eljarh reports on the public’s apparent loss of interest in democracy in Libya, where less than 14 percent of voters took part in the weekend’s Constituent Assembly elections.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

The Economist explores the slow unraveling of the promise of democracy in the 21st century.

International Crisis Group warns that burgeoning conflict between Yemen’s Houthi movement and its adversaries could threaten the country’s tenuous transition.

Writing for the National Interest, Paul R. Pillar insists that analysts discussing "democracy promotion" keep in mind what "democracy" actually means.

Jack A. Goldstone diagnoses the citizen uprisings of Ukraine, Venezuela, Thailand, and elsewhere as a symptom of middle-class malaise.

In a report for the Brookings Institute, Monica Marks takes a closer look at the role that the Islamist Ennahda Party played in writing Tunisia’s new constitution.

On Al Jazeera America, Musa al-Gharbi spells out how the Syrian opposition coalition could usher in a resolution to the country’s civil war. (In the photo above, soldiers supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad look on at the dead bodies of dozens of rebel fighters in Oteiba.)

Writing for Spiegel, Jens Glusing compares Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to the late Hugo Chávez — and finds him more controlling, but less in control.

In the Independent, Peter Popham explains how religious and ethnic conflict turned a secular Burmese activist into a Muslim.