Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, July 18, 2016

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, July 18, 2016

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In the wake of the Nice attack, Christian Caryl asks why so many terrorists come from Tunisia, the Arab Spring’s only success story.

Blessing-Miles Tendi explains why Zimbabwe’s passionate social media activists can’t bring down Mugabe all by themselves.

Michael Rubin cautions that Iraqi Kurdistan’s reputation as an oasis of democratic governance may be undeserved.

Sarah Margon warns that Burma’s democratic transformation will mean little unless it can bring peace to the country’s long-suffering ethnic minorities.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

The latest issue of the Journal of Democracy is out. Highlights include an essay by Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk highlighting the dangers of democratic backsliding in the world’s consolidated democracies and Henry E. Hale’s examination of why, 25 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, its former republics have not broken through to freedom.

For Foreign Affairs, Brian Klaas explains why the Turkish coup failed. Reuters’ Humeyra Pamuk and Ercan Gurses report on President Erdogan’s widening crackdown in response. And, if you’re looking for new voices on Turkey, FP Interrupted has a list of excellent female journalists and commentators.

Foreign Policy’s Siobhan O’Grady brings us a special report from the front lines of South Sudan’s civil war. Also in Foreign Policy, Emile Simpson argues that those who downplay the importance of terrorist attacks based on their statistical rarity are missing the point.

In a paper for the Cato institute, Oleh Havrylyshyn, Xiaofan Meng, and Marian L. Tupy find that “big bang” approaches to reform worked much better than gradual reforms in the former Communist world.

For Al Jazeera, Tendai Marima reports on growing discontent with Robert Mugabe’s long-time rule in Zimbabwe.

For the Carnegie Endowment, Benedetta Berti explains how Syria’s warring parties have weaponized the provision of humanitarian aid.

For CSIS, Andrea Kendall-Taylor warns that a global decline of democracy threatens the stability of the international order.

Amensty International reports that Egypt’s security services are regularly abducting, torturing, and forcibly disappearing the regime’s critics.

International IDEA has published an in-depth paper examining the quality of Latin America’s democracies.

And finally, the Human Rights Foundation offers a striking infographic on Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis.

In the photo, people carry the coffin of coup victim Sehidmiz Murat Inci during his funeral ceremony at the Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara on July 18.

Photo credit: DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images