Democratic backsliding in Eurasia, Egypt’s dependence on foreign subsidies, Kenya’s elections, Russian anti-corruption initiatives and the U.S. military’s efforts to help promote democracy feature in this week’s Democracy Lab roundup:
Anna Nemtsova sends a dispatch from Moscow on the absurdity of the Russian legal system, following the latest hearing against a deceased Russian anti-corruption lawyer.
Kristin M. Lord and Jacqueline Wilson commend the successful efforts behind bringing peaceful elections to Kenya this past month despite a history of violence. Meanwhile, Alina Rocha Menocal argues that even though Kenya’s elections were peaceful this time around, it doesn’t prove a democracy.
Libyan blogger Mohamed Eljarh emphasizes the need to enshrine freedom of religion in the new constitution amidst rising persecution of Christians in the country by Islamists.
Democracy Lab editor Christian Caryl assesses efforts within the U.S. military to help spread democracy in more subtle ways.
And this week’s recommended reads:
Global Witness publishes their footage that exposes the blatant and widespread corruption of the Taib family in Sarawak, Malaysia. For more background, read last week’s column on the autocratic state that Abdul Taib Mahmud has built.
In an emotional TED Talk, Hyeonseo Lee reveals the overwhelming challenges North Koreans refugees face after escaping their country.
In a brief for the Atlantic Council, Laura Linderman highlights Georgia’s key political players and priorities six months after a historic transfer of power.
At EurasiaNet, Tamada Tales blogger Giorgi Lomsadze considers the possibility that Georgia’s military contribution in the intervention in Mali may boost their candidacy to join the European Union.
Radio Free Asia releases their findings in a report on Burma’s progress in increasing openness via communications technology.
Writing in Think Africa Press, Benedikt Erforth and George Deffner question the motivations of France’s interventions in Mali.
In The American, Alan W. Dowd stresses the need for continuing the promotion of democratic freedoms in his review of Towards a Worldwide Index of Human Freedom.
And in the protest-of-the-day, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty follows Belarusian opposition activists as they march through the streets of Minsk to mark “Freedom Day,” commemorating independence in 1918 — and in direct protest to the current regime of Alexander Lukashenka.
Democracy Lab is a Special Project with the Legatum Institute.