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Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, December 28, 2015

  Happy New Year from Democracy Lab! We’re looking forward to another year of bringing you in-depth and on-the-ground coverage of the struggle for democracy around the world. As always, follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the latest. For our final weekly brief of 2015, here are some of our favorite ...

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Happy New Year from Democracy Lab!

We’re looking forward to another year of bringing you in-depth and on-the-ground coverage of the struggle for democracy around the world. As always, follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the latest.

For our final weekly brief of 2015, here are some of our favorite stories from the year:

Christian Caryl made the case that one of the best ways to undermine the Islamic State and its jihadist ideology is to help Tunisia become a successful democracy. Christian also looked at the prospects of an independent Kurdistan.

Ilya Lozovsky interviewed a Tunisian activist who delivered a sharp critique of the professional human rights community. Ilya also reported from Lviv on the rise of a new Ukrainian political movement that’s fighting for clean government.

Thomas Carothers asked six experts on political change to explain why new technologies have not led to democratic advances around the world.

Alexander Motyl insisted that Ukraine can win its stalemate with Russia and argued that Kiev is better off now that the Donbass region is Russia’s responsibility.

Christofer Berglund and Johan Engvall told the story of Georgia’s notoriously corrupt higher education system — and of how the country cleaned up its act. (For the rest of our case studies on fighting corruption, check out the “Curbing Corruption” series at the Legatum Institute.)

Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Erica Frantz explained why the death of a dictator usually doesn’t lead to the downfall of his regime.

Javier Corrales spelled out the true cause of Venezuela’s economic malaise. (Hint: it’s not the oil.)

Emily Crane and Nicholas Linn shed light on Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s quiet campaign to gain control of the country’s mosques.

And finally, just last week, Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez reported on President Maduro’s creative attempt to sideline Venezuela’s new opposition-dominated parliament.

The Venezuelan opposition won’t go down without a fight — and the confrontation could begin in earnest as early as the first week of January. If it does, we’ll have the latest for you here at Democracy Lab.

In the photo, Venezuelan opposition supporters celebrate the results of the legislative election in Caracas on December 7, 2015.

Photo credit: LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images

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