Argument

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, January 26, 2015

To keep up with Democracy Lab in real time, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Mohamed El Dahshan reports on the bitter contradictions underlying Egypt’s commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the 2011 revolution. In an excerpt from his new book, Thanassis Cambanis mourns the final betrayal of Egypt’s democratic hopes in the popularly supported ...

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

Mohamed El Dahshan reports on the bitter contradictions underlying Egypt’s commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the 2011 revolution.

In an excerpt from his new book, Thanassis Cambanis mourns the final betrayal of Egypt’s democratic hopes in the popularly supported coup that overthrew President Morsi.

Sarah el-Shaarawi illuminates the crisis facing Egypt’s educational system.

Christian Caryl looks at prospects for the creation of an independent Kurdistan and the profound implications this would have for the region.

Asma Ghribi covers the imprisonment of a Tunisian blogger for the crime of posting a Facebook post critical of the armed forces.

And Juan Nagel lays bare the absurdity at the heart of Venezuela’s officially maintained—and nearly unobtainable—exchange rate with the U.S. dollar.

(The photo above shows a Zambian election worker checking the voters roll during the January 20 presidential primary.)

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

The National Endowment for Democracy’s Democracy Digest blog decries the warm reception extended to Egyptian President Sisi at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Human Rights Watch assails the Burmese authorities’ continued repression of peaceful protesters despite recently introduced reforms.

Jonathan Tepperman interviews Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for Foreign Affairs.

After observing three Afghan elections, Democracy International calls for comprehensive electoral reforms.

In the Independent, Ziauddin Sardar challenges the notion that Islamic extremism has “nothing to do with Islam” and highlights the legacy of Islamic free thinkers who show a path forward.

At CSIS, Murray Hiebert and Nigel Corey explain the political challenges faced by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak as he seeks to advance his foreign policy agenda.

The Center for Public Integrity’s Sasha Chavkin reports that World Bank money was used to support a brutal forced relocation program in Ethiopia.

The Syria Justice and Accountability Center warns that the United States’ failure to address the findings of the Senate’s CIA Torture Report undermine efforts to hold the Syrian regime accountable for gross violations of human rights.

Paul Adams of the Africa Research Institute cautions that rising levels of sovereign debt among African countries is a growing cause for concern.

In World Politics Review, Jan-Werner Müller offers a new definition of populism and argues that it presents a serious challenge to liberal democracy.

GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images

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