Argument

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, January 4, 2016

To keep up with Democracy Lab in real time, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Rick Rowden explains why the optimists’ case for economic growth in Africa has failed to pan out – and what needs to be done to turn things around. Erica Marat warns that Ukraine’s much-praised police reforms could lead to trouble ...

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

Rick Rowden explains why the optimists’ case for economic growth in Africa has failed to pan out – and what needs to be done to turn things around.

Erica Marat warns that Ukraine’s much-praised police reforms could lead to trouble down the road.

Fadil Aliriza reports on the growth of a new Tunisian security state, which is threatening to undo the gains of the revolution.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

In BloombergView, Noah Feldman covers the new Polish government’s assault on the independence of the country’s highest court. In Politico Europe, Jan Cienski reports on a new media law that expands government control over the state-run media — while Adrian Karatnycky defends the new government.

The Guardian offers an excerpt from Anjan Sundaram’s new book about the decline of the free press in Rwanda under President Paul Kagame. (On January 1, Kagame announced that he will seek a third term.)

The Atlantic Council’s Anders Aslund explains how Russia has has shaken up its management of Ukraine’s separatist Donbass region.

In the Washington Post’s “Monkey Cage” blog, Marc Lynch lists his favorite Middle East political science books of 2015.

Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, and Cliff Kupchan, its chairman, sum up the main geopolitical risks of 2016. They predict a “dramatically more fragmented world” in which the “unwinding of the U.S.-led political order will accelerate.” Happy New Year!

And finally, writing in the Wall Street Journal, Democracy Lab editor Christian Caryl asks how Aung San Suu Kyi will govern Burma.

In the photo, anti-government protesters demonstrate in Warsaw on December 19, 2015.

Photo credit: JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images

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