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Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, Oct. 26, 2012

(A note to our subscribers: from now on the Democracy Lab Weekly Brief will begin arriving in your inbox on Monday mornings. You'll receive the next installment on November 5.)

William Lloyd-George profiles the Islamist warlord who is threatening to transform his corner of northern Africa into a safe haven for jihadis.

Writing from Tbilisi, Molly Corso analyzes the tensions surrounding the formation of a new government after this month's parliamentary elections.

Christian Caryl argues that America's non-voters deserve to be taken seriously by the rest of their compatriots.

Jamsheed Choksy and Eden Naby warn against sectarianism in the wake of the Arab Spring and consider measures to protect religious minorities.

Mohamad El Dahshan rediscovers a lost satire on dictatorship.

Endy Bayuni examines why Indonesia's Islamist parties have so far had little success at the ballot box.

Min Zin looks at how some of the players in Burma's political scene are bending the constitutional rule book to their own advantage.

And Juan Nagel assesses Venezuela's democratic credentials.

And here are this week's recommended reads:

In a new article for Foreign Affairs, Ruchir Sharma argues that we may be seeing the beginning of the end of the BRIC success story.

At The New York Review of Books, Hussein Agha and Robert Malley wonder whether Islamist ascendance bodes ill or well for the legacy of the Arab Spring.

A story by the BBC describes the growing schism between secularists and Islamists in the Syrian opposition. In a new report, Human Rights Watch provides evidence of continued use of cluster bombs against civilians by the government of Bashar al-Assad.

Fahed Al-Sumait, writing for Jadaliyya, looks at the growing political crisis in Kuwait.

A new case study from Princeton's Innovations for Successful Societies focuses on a remarkable open-data initiative within the government of Kenya.

Writing for OpenDemocracy.net, William Callahan examines how debate over the relative virtues of authoritarianism and democracy figures in the growing rivalry between China and India.

A new report from the Center for Global Development tackles the question of whether foreign aid to Afghanistan has bolstered governance or merely prolonged the government's ability to conduct war.

And finally, a group of activists has released "An Outsider's Guide to Supporting Nonviolent Resistance to Dictatorship," a new handbook on the art of peaceful revolution.

[The photo above shows Egyptian worshipers gathering in a soccer stadium to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.)

KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images

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