Democracy Lab Weekly Highlights, April 20, 2012

Thirty-five years after the end of the "Dirty War," Alex Gibson shows how a trial in Argentina is struggling to come to terms with a legacy of state-sponsored violence.

Peter Reuter explains why the West won't be able to contain money laundering from developing countries unless it cleans up its own act first.

Min Zin asks whether Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is making a mistake in her latest confrontation with the powers-that-be, and also offers an entertaining primer on the politics behind the latest Burmese New Year celebrations.

Mohamed El Dahshan explores the decision that has thrown Egypt's presidential election into disarray.

Juan Nagel shows why the Venezuelan government's recent decision to subsidize beauty products will score it political points.

Endy Bayuni explains how Aceh's separatist leaders have morphed from guerillas into governors.

And in his column, Christian Caryl argues that economic inequality is now becoming a hot political issue in both rich countries and poor ones.

This week's recommended reads:

In Foreign Affairs, Leon Goldsmith writes on the Alawite community of Syria and the motives for their persistent support of the Assad regime.

In an essay in the current issue of Journal of Democracy, political philosopher Abdou Filali-Ansary casts light on why many voters in the Arab world prefer Islamist parties -- and arrives at some surprising conclusions.

A new report by the International Crisis Group documents the growing fight over resources between the Iraqi central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan regional government.

Writing for Project Syndicate, Alfred Stepan and Etienne Smith discuss the surprising resilience of democracy in Senegal.

Democracy Digest reports on the difficulties faced by Russian dissidents following Vladimir Putin's victory in the March 4 presidential elections. And the German Marshal Fund examines the recent release of imprisoned opposition leaders in Belarus. (The photo above shows activist Dmitry Bondarenko meeting his wife after leaving prison.)

And don't miss Jeffrey Bartholet's great travelogue from post-Mubarak Egypt in National Geographic.



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