Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, December 8, 2014

To catch Democracy Lab in real time, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Altay Goyushov sheds light on the stark contrast between the Azerbaijani’s pro-Western rhetoric and its actual behavior towards its own citizens. Fadil Aliriza wonders whether Tunisia’s striving new democracy can overcome the challenge posed by high-level corruption. Berivan Orucoglu reports on the ...

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To catch Democracy Lab in real time, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

To catch Democracy Lab in real time, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Altay Goyushov sheds light on the stark contrast between the Azerbaijani’s pro-Western rhetoric and its actual behavior towards its own citizens.

Fadil Aliriza wonders whether Tunisia’s striving new democracy can overcome the challenge posed by high-level corruption.

Berivan Orucoglu reports on the growing friendship between Russia’s Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan.

And Greg Rushford laments the gradual breakdown of the long-reigning framework of global trade.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

Eliza Griswold tells the story of Raed Fares, a Syrian activist whose video protests target both the Islamic State and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The Brookings Institution’s Charles Lister warns that the United States is on the verge of losing its last vestiges of influence over the Free Syrian Army.

In the Guardian, Owen Bowcott looks at the International Criminal Court’s decision to drop its case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Thomas Fuller of the New York Times follows the unlikely journey of a former Burmese political prisoner who has just returned to jail — by choice.

Also in the Times, Ukamaka Olisakwe reflects on her fearful youth in northern Nigeria as Boko Haram continues its assault on the region.

International Crisis Group warns that Thailand’s latest coup is likely to herald greater turmoil down the road. (In the photo above, a Thai soldier lights a candle to celebrate King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 87th birthday.)

Writing in the Moscow Times, Katrina Lantos Swett and Robert P. George report on a sinister new Russian law that conflates religious expression and extremism.

The Atlantic Council’s Sean Yom and Wael al-Khatib criticize Jordan’s decision to crack down on its salafists, arguing that the government is exaggerating the threat.

Writing for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Michele Dunne regrets the waning interest in human rights in Arab Spring countries. In the Guardian, Eric Posner questions the effectiveness of international human rights law.

Writing for Freedom House, Arch Puddington looks at how world leaders sometimes use the word “democracy” to undermine democratic institutions.

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