Transitions

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, July 20, 2012

Three Princeton researchers (Morgan Greene, Jonathan Friedman, and Richard Bennet) tell the story of how post-Yugoslavia Kosovo (with some help from the international community) managed to pull off a remarkable feat of state-building. Endy Bayuni explains why Indonesians disagree about the start of Ramadan, and what it says about the country’s climate of religious toleration. ...

ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/GettyImages
ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/GettyImages

Three Princeton researchers (Morgan Greene, Jonathan Friedman, and Richard Bennet) tell the story of how post-Yugoslavia Kosovo (with some help from the international community) managed to pull off a remarkable feat of state-building.

Endy Bayuni explains why Indonesians disagree about the start of Ramadan, and what it says about the country’s climate of religious toleration.

Min Zin writes on the contradictions of U.S. sanctions policy towards Burma.

In an interview with Paul Starobin, Middle East scholar Joshua Stacher makes the case that the military still hasn’t lost power in Egypt.

Robert Looney offers advice to Mexico’s newly elected president on boosting economic growth.

Francisco Toro tells the tale of an unsung hero who uncovers the details of a massive oil scandal in Venezuela.

Christian Caryl explores why Middle Eastern dictators like to use criminal gangs as weapons against their opponents.

Juan Nagel scrutinizes the Venezuelan paradox of high growth and low productivity.

Next, this week’s recommended reads:

In a must-read essay in Journal of Democracy, Olivier Roy argues that the events of the Arab Spring amount to a profound transformation of the Middle East.

In a new report, the Rand Corporation draws lessons from past experiences of democratization that should shape the West’s response to the recent upheavals in the Arab world.

Human Rights Watch documents the concentration of power in Venezuela under President Hugo Chávez and tracks the deterioration of human rights.

Writing for The New York Review of Books, Yasmine El Rashidi vividly renders the atmosphere of a changing Egypt where everything somehow remains the same.

Democracy Digest sees signs of major change in the offing for Cuba. (The photo above shows Cuban opposition bloggers participating in a conference last month in Havana.)

Armin Rosen, writing in World Affairs, explains why the continuing uprising in Sudan could portend major change for Africa.

Rosemarie Clouston of Georgetown University, responding to Democracy Lab’s recent article on women in parliament, argues that greater female participation in government brings benefits for democracy. OpenDemocracy.net launches "Stories You Weren’t Meant to Hear," a fascinating new narrative journalism project that chronicles the struggles of women in the North Caucasus.

Reporters Without Borders reports on the detention of a Malaysian cartoonist and its implications for freedom of the press.

Yigal Schleifer of Eurasianet explores the possibility that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan might "pull a Putin" and switch to the presidency.

The Moscow Times criticizes the Russian government’s harsh rhetoric against Western-funded NGOs — and now media outlets as well.

Sam Gregory from WITNESS examines the decision by YouTube to introduce blurring technology that aims to protect those exposing human rights abuses.

And finally, 50 years after Algeria achieved its independence, Algerians who fought on behalf of the French tell PRI’s The World about their experience of betrayal at the hands of the former colonial power.

 Twitter: @ccaryl

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