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Democracy Lab Weekly Highlights, March 18, 2012

Democracy Lab Highlights:

James Kirchick profiles Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, adored by his fans and assailed by opponents who fear that he is dismantling democratic institutions.

In the wake of Putin's victory in the Russian presidential elections, Anna Nemtsova's portrait of dissident Olga Romanova offers a snapshot of the difficult situation facing opposition activists.

Min Zin weighs in on the challenges opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will face in the up-coming parliamentary elections in Burma.

Robert Looney takes a skeptical look at Argentina's recovery from its economic crisis.

Jackee Budesta Batanda reports on Ugandan reactions to the Kony 2012 video.

Finally, the former president of South Africa, F. W. De Klerk, draws lessons from his own experiences as a participant in his country's transition from apartheid to democracy. (Plus you can see video excerpts from the same event here.)

And here are the week's recommended reads:

Egyptians are trying to draft a new constitution for the post-Mubarak era. But, as two leading experts note, it's no easy task. Tamir Moustafa, writing for the Brookings Doha Center-Stanford "Project on Arab Transitions," analyzes the pitfalls facing those trying to design the new ground roles for a future Egyptian democracy. Marina Ottaway offers an equally skeptical take in her piece for the Carnegie Endowment.

Hania Sholkamy from the American University in Cairo writes about the rising women's rights movement in an Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood in Open Democracy.(The photo above shows a woman demonstrating in support of  Samira Ibrahim, an Egyptian woman who brought the case against an army doctor who was accused of conducting forced "'virginity tests" on female protestors.)

IWPR examines the little-noted international effort to prosecute Chad's former leader Hissène Habré, dubbed "Africa's Pinochet" by Human Rights Watch.

On the website of The Diplomat, Chung Min Lee lambastes Asia's democracies for their silence on Syria. Meanwhile, The Syria Report provides a useful compendium of some of the most important articles published on the uprising there since it started one year ago.

The Economist examines recent changes in Morocco, while the International Crisis Group sees change brewing in Jordan.

The Libyan Tweep Forum looks at Misrata's first election and the lessons that the rest of Libya can draw from it.

Israel's INSS think tank presents a thorough study of the effects of the Arab Spring for Israel and the world. And Dimi Reider, writing on the website of The New York Review of Books, argues that a series of laws recently published by the Knesset is moving Israel in an "alarmingly anti-democratic direction."

MOHAMMED HOSSAM/AFP/Getty Images

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