- By 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., 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.
This week’s brief comes to you on a Tuesday due to a Monday holiday in the United States.
Annabelle Chapman profiles Ukraine’s new president, chocolate king Petro Poroshenko.
Allison Corkery and Heba Khalil warn that Egypt’s future president could face another revolution if he fails to make true economic reforms. (In the photo above, a child plays with a ballot box in Cairo during Egypt’s presidential election.)
Christian Caryl defends the Catholic Church’s record on human rights.
Juan Nagel explains how the military, elites, and public employees are cashing in on Venezuela’s poor economic policies.
Anna Nemtsova interviews the female militants taking up arms on both sides of the barricades in Ukraine.
And now for this week’s recommended reads:
Time magazine’s Shikha Dalmia scrutinizes new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign promises — and finds that they are impossible to square with his goals.
In a new report for the Arab Reform Initiative ahead of this week’s elections in Egypt, Michele Dunne argues that the United States must define its policy aims for the country rather than simply supporting whoever’s in power in the interests of stability.
Writing for Devex, Michael Igoe looks at the potentially transformative effects of reform in Burma’s telecommunications sector. Burma Partnership identifies key articles of the Burmese 2008 constitution that must be amended for democracy to take hold.
Christopher Gitari Ndungú examines the Kenyan Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission’s report on possible government complicity in human rights abuses.
On Business Insider, Jay Ulfelder crunches the numbers to forecast how Thailand’s recent military coup will impact the economy in years to come.
Lina Khatib and Ellen Lust track the transformation of activism in Arab states since the revolutions began in 2011.
In Jadaliyya, Emrah Yildiz reports on the Turkish prime minister’s choice to portray the deaths of 321 people in a coalmine explosion as an "ordinary" work accident.