What has changed in Tunisia since opposition leader Chokri Belaid was assassinated? I've asked many Tunisian friends that question. Most remained silent for a few seconds, smiled sadly, and whispered, "not much." One, a well-known activist, noted bitterly that what was clear was that Belaid didn't die "for that incompetent man (Laarayadh) to become prime minister".
Photo by FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images
On Sunday, March 3, four pickup trucks filled with Ansar al-Sharia militiamen pulled up at the European School in Benghazi. The men jumped out and stormed the school, saying that they were searching for teaching materials that they viewed as contradicting sharia law or the values of Libyan society. The incident at the school continued for about two hours and caused mixed reactions among Libyans as they followed the story.
Photo by ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/GettyImages
Despite holding a political philosophy based, in part, on valuing groups above individuals, Marxist governments have long been fond of embalming particularly memorable leaders and putting them on permanent display. Lenin, Mao, Stalin, Ho Chi Minh, two generations of Kims, Gottwald, Dimitrov.... The list goes on and on.
Photo by LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/GettyImages
Photo by GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images
Technology has failed Kenyans in the 2013 general election. Over the past few months, election officials and their friends in the media have raised public hopes for a fair election by hyping measures to modernize the voting system. But it's possible that these new reforms could instead become the cause of increased tensions.
Photo by CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images
When Hugo Chávez first became president of Venezuela I was sixteen years old and just coming into my political consciousness. Now I am in my thirties. Through all that time I can think of no political opinion, no vote, no broad social view that has not been affected -- even defined -- by this singular man and his unstoppable vision. And now he is dead. Officially dead. The enormity of that one fact is such that the myriad uncertainties this news bring with it, for now, seem somehow unimportant.
Photo by GERALDO CASO/AFP/Getty Images
Hugo Chávez died as he lived: shrouded in mystery, creating chaos and commotion, and leaving an indelible mark. His death leaves a void in the hearts of his many followers, but it also leaves his opponents in a daze. Chávez has been such a central part of our lives, of my life, that this is a blow to us as well.
Photo by RODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images
Civil war has plagued Burma for over sixty years now. At a number of times throughout that period, the ethnic rebel groups fighting for autonomy from the central government attempted to join forces. But their common foe, the Burmese military, consistently refused to have any dealings with alliances that tried to bring together all the restive minorities into a common front. The reason for this was simple: The generals always understood that ethnic rebels tend to be a fractious bunch, and that it's only too easy to incite defections by playing to a particular group's sectional interests (whether it be the offer of a favorable deal or the threat of a harsh crackdown). As a result, the Burmese army developed considerable expertise in the subtleties of divide and rule.
Ye Aung Thu/AFP/GettyImages
Transitions is the group blog of the Democracy Lab channel, a collaboration between Foreign Policy and the Legatum Institute.