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Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, May 12, 2014

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, May 12, 2014

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Peter Pomerantsev argues that Putin is reinventing warfare for the 21st century.

Christian Caryl comments on how the current turmoil in Ukraine has changed the way post-Soviet states mark the USSR’s victory over Nazi Germany. Josh Cohen looks at the reasons behind the current alliance between Jews and Ukrainians — despite the sometimes grim mutual history of the two peoples.

Mvemba Phezo Dizolele debunks the widespread conviction that all of Congo’s problems can be blamed on former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.

Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez interviews a member of the Venezuelan National Guard on the regime’s favored weapon of suppression: tear gas.

Mohamed Eljarh explains the complex story behind Libya’s attempt to appoint a new prime minister.

And Miriam Lanskoy sounds the alarm on a Russian amendment to strengthen anti-NGO laws.

Special note: On May 19, the Legatum Institute launches Democracy Works, an initiative exploring lessons in democracy from the Global South, in Washington, DC.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

At Foreign Policy, Lauren Wolfe confronts the prevalent violence against women and girls — and why the world pays it no attention.

Writing for the New York Times, Dirk Vandewalle and Nicholas Jahr examine how dysfunctional electoral politics is preventing political progress in Libya — despite the fact that most Libyans agree on potentially divisive issues. (In the photo above, former Qaddafi regime officials sit behind bars during their trial in Tripoli on Sunday.)

Human Rights Watch investigates how Venezuela’s security forces abused citizens’ freedoms of assembly and expression during the recent protests.

Nyein Nyein reports for the Irrawaddy on the Buddhist backlash against NGOs that have opposed a bill banning interfaith marriage.

At the Monkey Cage, Aaron Y. Zelin explores how global jihadi organizations such as Ansar al-Sharia act as social movements and organizers of dissent.

Also at the Monkey Cage, Kristin Smith Diwan discusses how a feud within Kuwait’s royal family threatens the monarchy’s stability.

Karina Piser assesses Tunisia’s debate on whether to exclude the ex-dictator’s partners from participation in the new, democratic government.

And Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty’s Golnaz Esfandiari tells the story of a man who is defying Iranian censors by posting his new novel, chapter by chapter, on Facebook.