Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, July 6, 2015

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, July 6, 2015

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In the second case study for Democracy Lab’s “Curbing Corruption: Ideas That Work” project, Mohammad Omar Masud tells the story of a Pakistani program that uses cell phones to counter petty bribery.

Abigail Fielding-Smith looks at how the Syrian government deploys propaganda as a weapon in the country’s vicious civil war. (Adapted from the Legatum Institute’s “Beyond Propaganda” program.)

Wai Moe reports on the sad state of gender politics in Burma in the run-up to national elections later this year.

Rebecca Tinsley calls for greater attention to Africa’s large population of uneducated, unemployed young men.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

The Foreign Policy Research Institute presents a collection of its best essays on democratic transitions in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia.

Chris Buckley and Thomas Fuller of The New York Times offer an extraordinary look at the brutal choices facing Rohingya refugees from Burma. The Karen Human Rights Group releases a report documenting the growing confiscation of land in southeast Burma.

Alex Vines of Chatham House marks 40 years of independence for Mozambique, a country that is now on the verge of rapid transformation. (In the photo, Mozambican youth celebrate their country’s independence in Maputo.)

The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog interviews DemLab contributor Howard W. French about his new book, in which he examines China’s growing presence in Africa.

Writing for openDemocracy, Till Bruckner challenges easy assumptions about Morocco’s “journey toward democracy.”

In the American Interest, Alexander Decina warns that the main “pro-Western” leader in Libya’s civil war is playing up the risk of extremism to try to secure Western military assistance.

Human Rights Watch reports that Thai authorities have arrested 14 student activists for taking part in a peaceful rally.

And finally, BBC’s Stephen Ennis describes how Russian television has changed since the start of the crisis in Ukraine.

Photo credit: ADRIEN BARBIER/AFP/Getty Images