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DemLab Weekly Highlights, March 9, 2012

To our readers:

Welcome to the revised version of the Democracy Lab Weekly Brief. We'd love to get your feedback, so please send us your thoughts via Facebook or Twitter.

Democracy Lab Highlights:

In his profile of the Tibetan government-in-exile's democratically elected leader, Sudip Mazumdar explores the grim options facing Tibetans fighting for greater autonomy.

Jackee Budesta Batanda explains that Uganda's biggest problem isn't the Lord's Resistance Army. It's nodding disease, a mysterious ailment that is ravaging the countryside - with little response from the Ugandan government or the international community.

Mohamed El Dahshan reports on the peculiar saga of an Egyptian parliamentarian's wayward nose.

And Christian Caryl argues that, from Russia to Burma, political personalities are more important than ever. (Above,  Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin celebrates his victory in Sunday's presidential election -- flanked by his sidekick, current President Dmitri Medvedev.)

Democracy Lab's recommended reads:

Elsewhere on the FP website, Michael Wilkerson offers a critical take on the #StopKony campaign, which, according to Wilkerson, is presenting distorted claims in its highly publicized effort to stop the Lord's Resistance Army.

In a provocative piece entitled "Don't Despair of Democracy," the FT's Gideon Rachman argues that "the world's democracies are still winning the global beauty contest." (Subscription may be required.)

Leigh Nolan, an expert at the Brookings Doha Center in Doha, describes how monarchies in the Gulf are trying to manage the expectations of their citizens through the educational system.

Just in time for International Women's Day, the International Federation for Human Rights  presents a skeptical report about the state of women's rights in the Arab Spring.

An analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington think tank, offers a fine-grained look at the capabilities of the Syrian guerillas now fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Stephanie Strom at The New York Times offers a must-read on an India-based website that tracks bribery. The site aggregates reports on bribes submitted by anonymous donors.

The excellent Democracy in Africa website offers an illuminating podcast and a number of other resources that examine the continuing electoral turmoil in Senegal.

ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images

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