Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, May 25, 2012

Fadil Aliriza exposes the difficulties Tunisia’s new government faces in rooting out corruption from the old regime. Min Zin looks at Burma’s first street protests in more than 20 years and examines their potential impact on the country’s progress towards democracy. Peter Passell argues that well-meaning efforts to reduce climate change won’t work unless developing ...

VANO SHLAMOV/AFP/GettyImages
VANO SHLAMOV/AFP/GettyImages
VANO SHLAMOV/AFP/GettyImages

Fadil Aliriza exposes the difficulties Tunisia's new government faces in rooting out corruption from the old regime.

Min Zin looks at Burma's first street protests in more than 20 years and examines their potential impact on the country's progress towards democracy.

Peter Passell argues that well-meaning efforts to reduce climate change won't work unless developing countries can be persuaded that it's good for the bottom line.

Fadil Aliriza exposes the difficulties Tunisia’s new government faces in rooting out corruption from the old regime.

Min Zin looks at Burma’s first street protests in more than 20 years and examines their potential impact on the country’s progress towards democracy.

Peter Passell argues that well-meaning efforts to reduce climate change won’t work unless developing countries can be persuaded that it’s good for the bottom line.

Francisco Toro shows why much-vaunted adult literacy programs in Venezuela haven’t actually produced much bang for the buck.

Endy Bayuni analyzes the maneuverings in Indonesia’s political elite — including rumors that President Yudhoyono’s wife could emerge as his most likely successor.

Mohamed El Dahshan makes the case for Tunisia as a soft-power leader in the Middle East.

And Christian Caryl explains why regulating the international arm trade can make life easier for fragile societies.

This week’s recommended reads:

The big story of the week, of course, is the first round of the presidential election in Egypt. FP’s own David Kenner offers a handy guide to the early results.

For those wishing to go into greater depth, the Atlantic Council’s Egypt Source website presents a number of excellent background pieces on the election. Economist Hoda Youseff wonders whether Egyptians are really prepared for the changes that a new president will bring. Mustafa El-Labbad examines likely shifts in foreign policy following the election. And frequent Democracy Lab contributor Magdy Samaan offers a skeptical take on the prospects for political stability once the voting is over.

Elsewhere, Jadaliyya.com examines electoral trends in Egypt, while Ahram Online presents an intriguing interview with long-time dissident Saad Eddin Ibrahim.

Meanwhile, the National Democratic Institute has published a detailed study of public attitudes in Libya in the run-up to that country’s next round of elections in June. The bottom line: People don’t believe the National Transitional Council is doing its job. And the Legatum Institute’s Anne Applebaum, writing for Slate, offers a vivid dispatch from Libya that vividly captures the tension between chaos and hope.

The Jamestown Foundation offers a finely grained analysis of the Islamist insurgency in Yemen that has taken over several provinces in the south of the country. At The New York Review of Books blog, Hugh Eakin scrutinizes the role of Saudi Arabia as Washington escalates its involvement in Yemen.

At OpenDemocracy.net, the French journalist and Middle East expert Francis Ghilès reflects on the past few decades of Tunisia’s history through the prism of his own biography.

A remarkable piece at ProPublica tells the extraordinary story of a man whose personal fate embodies the problems of transitional justice in Guatemala.

A new European Union survey documents the continuing discrimination faced by Europe’s ethnic Roma.

Eurasianet.org explains how citizens in Central Asia cope with harsh governments and dysfunctional infrastructure. Writing for OUPblog (Oxford University Press), Alexander Cooley contends that the war in Afghanistan has actually reinforced authoritarianism and corruption in the rest of Central Asia.

And as Azerbaijan hosts the 2012 Eurovision song contest in Baku, Human Rights House tracks the fate of pro-democracy activists. (The photo above shows members of the group "Sing for Democracy.")

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