Srdja Popovic and Mladen Joksic explain why humor is proving one of the most powerful weapons in the battle against autocracy.
Mohamed El Dahshan takes the Egyptian government to task for its crackdown on satirist Bassem Youssef.
Matt Andrews argues that institutional reform efforts are more likely to succeed when they incorporate local knowledge and interests.
Peter Murrell urges Mongolia to set tough terms for investors if it wants to maintain healthy growth over the long term.
In the run-up to this Sunday's presidential election in Venezuela, Juan Nagel analyzes weaknesses in the campaign of opposition leader Henrique Capriles.
And Mohamed Eljarh reports on why Libya's justice minister is standing his ground despite recent attacks by power-hungry militias.
And now for this week's recommended reads:
In a new report, Human Rights Watch accuses Côte d'Ivoire of failing to hold the guilty parties accountable following post-election violence in 2010.
The Egypt Independent reports that President Morsy's recent trip to Sudan (pictured above) has been delcared a success, citing agreements on several investment projects with President Omar al-Bashir, an accused war criminal.
International Crisis Group offers recommendations on how to avoid conflict through security sector reform.
Lauren Wolfe reports in The Atlantic that Syria's massive rape crisis is creating a nation of traumatized survivors.
Dilek Kurban and Ceren Sozeri of Turkish think tank TESEV offer recommendations on improving the climate for independent media in Turkey.
The Guardian showcases the realities of modern-day slavery around the world.
In The Daily Beast, David Keyes argues that allowing women to ride bikes should scarcely count as a significant reform of gender apartheid in Saudi Arabia.
The Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies identifies several threats to a sustainable peace agreement between Serbia and Kosovo.
Democracy Lab contributor Matt Andrews writes in The Guardian that the real "heroes" of development are not who we think they are.
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Henrique Capriles, the opposition candidate trying to replace the late Hugo Chávez in next week's special election, made "a big announcement" last Tuesday. One of his main campaign spokesmen, Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, told the media that they had recently discovered the ruling party had the passwords to the voting machines used by Venezuela's official electoral commission, the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE).
On Sunday, March 31, armed gunmen stormed Libya's Ministry of Justice. The gunmen (reportedly militia members under the Supreme Security Committee) threw Justice Minister Salah Marghani and his staff out of the building in protest over recent televised remarks the minister made during an interview with Libya AhrarTV.
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Mocking rulers is a tradition almost as old as rule itself. At times mockery is subtle and allegorical; at others it is blunt, sometimes gauche, but always funny. Some wonderful examples are the fables of Nasreldin Goha, a folkloric character rumored to have lived in thirteenth century Turkey. One of his jokes comes to mind:
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A happy Easter to all those celebrating this week!
In the latest for our new Putinology column, Anna Nemtsova reveals the unruly forces that are troubling the Kremlin's security services.
Juan Nagel bemoans the absurdity of Nicolás Maduro's presidential campaign in Venezuela.
Mohamed Eljarh assesses a weak point in Libya's media reform that is essential to the country's democratic transition.
Jonathan Morduch and Timothy Ogden advocate using microfinance to meet the real financial needs of the world's poor.
Min Zin argues that Burma's political elite have failed their country in preventing a recurring pattern of ethnic violence.
Greg Rushford argues that it's not just the world's advanced economies driving trade inequality.
And now for this week's recommended reads:
Reporting for The New York Times, Alissa J. Rubin shares the economic hardships forcing an Afghani father to give away his daughter, and the government that won't support him.
In a new paper for the New America Foundation, Philip Napoli and Jonathan Obar examine the global phenomenon where new internet users are gaining access by using cell phones instead of computers.
International Crisis Group assesses the growing discontent in Eritrea and the potential for a violent power struggle.
In a recent Issue Perspective for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Stephen Engelken argues that India and Pakistan need to expand their trade ties in order to maintain peace in South Asia.
Following Russia's latest crackdown on non-profits and activists, Russian journalist Masha Gessen writes for the International Herald Tribune, comparing the tactics to the Soviet Union.
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The field of journalism witnessed a huge expansion in Libya since the February 17, 2011 uprising. Under Qaddafi's rule, the media was tightly controlled. Freedom of expression was censored entirely Today there are 200 printed newspapers in Tripoli and Benghazi alone, and more than 18 satellite TV channels throughout the country, and the number is only increasing. However, the industry still has a long way to go before it can become a reliable source for many Libyans.
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Nicolás Maduro, the interim president of Venezuela, held a campaign rally the other night, where his supporters held up an oversized check -- similar to those used on game shows -- symbolically made out to "the people of Venezuela." The check was for 1.8 Billion bolivars, roughly 72 million U.S. dollars at market rates.
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Transitions is the group blog of the Democracy Lab channel, a collaboration between Foreign Policy and the Legatum Institute.