- 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.
In a new series of Lab Reports on Tunisia, Oussama Romdhani lauds the transition government’s efforts to bring together competing political groups, while Emmanuel Martin and Dalibor Rohac argue that it must pay greater attention to economic reform.
Anna Nemtsova mourns two of her friends, journalists who were killed while reporting on the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Min Zin questions the rationale behind Aung San Suu Kyi’s campaign to reform the Burmese constitution.
Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez and Tom Ginsburg suggest a path for stability in Thailand after a military coup.
Juan Nagel reports that poverty rates are skyrocketing in Venezuela — disproving the government’s claim that chavismo reduces poverty.
Christian Caryl asks why authoritarian leaders are so afraid of viral Internet content after six Iranians are arrested for parodying Pharrell Williams’ "Happy" music video.
And now for this week’s recommended reads:
A new Carnegie Endowment report investigates democracy promotion efforts emanating from non-Western countries, many of which have experiences that are relevant to today’s emerging democracies.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, Francis Fukuyama reflects on his 25-year-old theory that history is leading toward democracy. Melinda Liu, writing for Politico, explains how the Chinese government used nationalism to quell discontent after the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
Writing for the New York Times, Min Zin explains how the actions of radical, anti-Muslim monks are dividing Burma’s Buddhists. On the Irrawaddy, Andrew D. Kaspar and Yen Snaing report on the Burmese military’s use of torture against civilians during its ongoing war with separatist rebels.
On the Monkey Cage, Laurie A. Brand uncovers the hidden logic behind Arab states’ controversial rules allowing overseas citizens to vote.
International Crisis Group explores the obstacles looming on Tunisia’s consensus-based road to democracy.
On the Daily Show, Jon Stewart discusses the Egyptian government’s decision to shut down Bassem Youssef”s satirical TV show.
Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Ana Cláudia Teixeira explain why Brazil has been rocked by protests despite its emphasis on participatory government.
Syria Deeply tells the story of a Syrian man who fought as part of various rebel brigades, then joined the Free Syria Army, and is now attempting to return to civilian life. (In the photo above, supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad celebrate in Damascus after he won reelection in a vote denounced by many observers as a sham.)