Argument

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, March 23, 2015

To keep up with Democracy Lab in real time, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Brian Klaas looks at the impact of last week’s terrorist attack on Tunisia’s democratic transition. Christine Petré explores the reasons why Tunisia has become a prolific source of Syria-bound jihadists. Nicholas Linn and Emily Crane profile a grassroots resistance group ...

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To keep up with Democracy Lab in real time, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Brian Klaas looks at the impact of last week’s terrorist attack on Tunisia’s democratic transition.

Christine Petré explores the reasons why Tunisia has become a prolific source of Syria-bound jihadists.

Nicholas Linn and Emily Crane profile a grassroots resistance group in Egypt that is succeeding in defying President Sisi’s regime.

John Boik, Lorenzo Fioramonte, and Gary Milante propose an “upgrade” for increasingly obsolete democratic institutions.

Anna Nemtsova illuminates the shadowy Moscow power struggle triggered by the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

The New York Review of Books prints an excerpt from Jonathan Littell’s forthcoming book Syrian Notebooks, in which he relates how Bashar al-Assad undermined the moderate opposition by allowing jihadist extremists to take root in Syria. (In the photo, a rebel fighter trains outside Damascus.)

In Bloomberg View, Leonid Bershidsky warns that Ukraine’s revolution remains unfinished as long as the country’s shady oligarchs remain in charge.

A new paper for the U.K.’s Department for International Development by Alina Rocha Menocal and Nils Taxell explains why corruption matters and what to do about it.

International IDEA releases a collection of case studies exploring initiatives in eight countries to improve electoral practices.

In Mada Masr, Ibrahim Hodaiby depicts the gradual radicalization of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s tactics in the face of harsh repression.

In the Monkey Cage, Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Erica Frantz show how authoritarian regimes have learned to exploit democratic institutions to secure their power. Also in the Monkey Cage, Marc Lynch argues that the Islamic State is not as unique as many commentators have claimed.

OkayAfrica publishes a prison letter from Swaziland human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko on the one-year anniversary of his detention.

In Foreign Affairs, Deborah Yashar traces the development of ethnic political activism in Latin America.

Writing for the Guardian, Basia Cummings tells the story of Rafael Marques de Morais, a crusading Angolan journalist who has paid a high price for his bravery.

Writing for the National Interest, Jason Healey shows how Estonia’s electronic governance initiatives — including e-voting — have surpassed most other countries.

Photo credit: ABD DOUMANY/AFP/Getty Images 

Ilya Lozovsky is assistant editor of Democracy Lab. Prior to joining Foreign Policy, he worked as program officer for Eurasia at Freedom House, providing emergency support to human rights activists and organizations across that continent. @ichbinilya

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