Argument

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, April 11, 2016

To keep up with Democracy Lab in real time, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.  Christian Davies lays out why this weekend’s anniversary of the plane crash that killed Poland’s president is so divisive — and how his legacy is poisoning the country’s politics. Meredith Jung-En Woo draws attention to the urgent need to find ...

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

Christian Davies lays out why this weekend’s anniversary of the plane crash that killed Poland’s president is so divisive — and how his legacy is poisoning the country’s politics.

Meredith Jung-En Woo draws attention to the urgent need to find ways for Syrian refugees to go to college.

Democracy Lab’s Ilya Lozovsky explains why it’s Iceland, of all places, where the “Panama Papers” had their most immediate political consequences.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has announced his resignation this week. David Stern reports in Politico that his departure is unlikely to bring any clarity to the struggling government. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Ron Synovitz profiles Volodymyr Hroysman, Yatsenyuk’s most likely replacement.

Reid Standish reports for Foreign Policy on the Dutch referendum in which voters rejected an EU agreement with Ukraine. Since the pact is already in place, the immediate effects of the vote are unclear, but Andreas Umland argues in Geopolitika that the results are good news for the Kremlin.

In the latest issue of the Journal of Democracy, Andrew Nathan makes sense of why China’s growing middle class hasn’t pushed harder for democracy.

In the New Yorker, Ben Taub profiles an organization that has been collecting and analyzing hundreds of thousands of government documents, smuggled out of Syria, to firmly establish the Assad regime’s responsibility for war crimes.

Writing for Vox, Shadi Hamid bucks the conventional wisdom by making the case that the much-maligned intervention in Libya was, in fact, a success.

In Foreign Affairs, Petra Pinzler argues that, if negotiated more openly and with more input from civil society, free trade agreements need not be viewed as antithetical to democracy. In Vox, Zack Beauchamp accuses Bernie Sanders of economic nationalism for saying that the United States should not trade with poorer countries.

In the Washington Post’s “Monkey Cage” blog, Elie Smith looks at how citizens across Central Africa have been mobilizing for democracy through social media.

And finally, if you’re in Washington DC this Thursday, check out the Carnegie Endowment’s conference on supporting Tunisia’s democratic transition.

In the photo, protesters who support the U.N.-backed government shout slogans during a demonstration in the Libyan capital Tripoli on April 1, 2016.

Photo credit: MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images

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