Argument

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, February 2, 2015

To keep up with Democracy Lab in real time, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Mohamed Eljarh explains how last week’s bloody hotel attack in Libya underlines the danger posed by Islamic extremism amid a chaotic civil war. Democracy Lab’s Ilya Lozovsky questions the value of a major new think tank report, which does little to address questions ...

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

Mohamed Eljarh explains how last week’s bloody hotel attack in Libya underlines the danger posed by Islamic extremism amid a chaotic civil war.

Democracy Lab’s Ilya Lozovsky questions the value of a major new think tank report, which does little to address questions about independence and research integrity.

Former Ambassador to Nigeria Princeton N. Lyman argues that the country’s presidential elections, scheduled for February, should be postponed.

Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez relates the unlikely story of a Venezuelan army officer who’s preparing to testify — in the United States — that his country’s second-most-powerful politician leads a notorious drug cartel.

Nicolas Linn and Emily Crane show us how Egypt’s crackdown on political Islam has devastated the work of the faith-based charities that care for the country’s poorest.

Anna Nemtsova paints a sobering portrait of a Chechen mother whose son, along with hundreds of his countrymen, left home to join the ranks of ISIS.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

In The Atlantic, Shadi Hamid asks whether Western liberal societies are capable of coming to terms with religious illiberalism.

In the Washington Quarterly, Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Erica Frantz argue that today’s dictatorships have learned to use “democratic” institutions to shore up and prolong their rule.

In the Bangkok Post, David Scott Mathieson denounces the Burmese government’s renewed repression of opposition activists, which has reversed years of progress.

Human Rights Watch has more details on Burma, and also highlights a crackdown in Thailand, in its 2015 World Report.

Meanwhile, as reported by Mizzima, Burma’s civil society is urging the government to drop four proposed bills on “Nation, Race, and Religion,” calling them inflammatory and unconstitutional.

In Democracy In Africa, Marco Di Nunzio urges us to question economic “success stories,” such as Ethiopia’s, when they are used to justify authoritarian rule. (The photo above shows a new Ethiopian wind farm)

International Crisis Group warns of “territorial fragmentation, economic meltdown, and widespread violence” if compromise is not soon reached in troubled Yemen.

In the Cairo Review of Global Affairs, Naomi Sakr examines the state of Egypt’s media in light of the country’s ongoing political struggles.

In World Politics Review, Thanassis Cambanis (whose new book we recently excerpted) looks at the ambiguous role of youth in this decade’s Arab uprisings.

JENNY VAUGHAN/AFP/Getty Images

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