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Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, January 28, 2013

In this week's must-read story, blogger Min Zin shares the story of his homecoming to Burma after sixteen years in exile.

Transparency International co-founder Laurence Cockroft makes the case for G20 action on global corruption.

Our guest blogger from Sudan, Maysoon Al Noujomi, reports on the release from prison of activist Jalila Khamis Koko. (Democracy Lab reported on her case last year.)

Democracy Lab editor Christian Caryl explains why the next stage of Syria's civil war promises to be the bloodiest yet -- and why it will be even harder to stop.

Amid the rumors swirling around the health of President Hugo Chávez, Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez ponders the ideological legacy of El Comandante's fourteen-year rule (Peron or Guevara)? Meanwhile, Juan Nagel argues that Venezuela's oppositionists need to get their act together if they want to have a chance in an upcoming election.

Hemal Shah explains why India needs to reform its tax and labor law if it wants to become a modern economy

Albert Fishlow shows how Argentina's shifting economic policies from the left to the right have left the country failing to live up to its potential.

And now, for this week's recommended reads:

The Guardian's Martin Chulov offers this week's must-read reporting from the war in Syria, filing from the mountains above the Alawite stronghold of Latakia. Veteran journalist Nir Rosen talks about his eight months in Syria in a presentation at the London School of Economics. Aaron Zelin, writing for al-Wasat, provides a breakdown of the Islamist groups that are fighting on the side of the opposition in the Syrian civil war.

Writing from Caracas for The New Yorker, Jon Lee Anderson examines the state of Venezuela after fourteen years of rule by President Hugo Chávez.

The Cairo Review presents an impressive line-up of articles on recent events in Egypt (including contributions by Mohamed A. El-Erian, Rami G. Khouri, Steven Cook, and Jimmy Carter).

In a piece for the Huffington Post, Legatum Institute President Jeff Gedmin offers his assessment of two years of the Arab Spring.

The Council on Foreign Relations presents an update on the global economic system.

Democracy in Africa offers an interview with longtime Africa hand Caroline Kende-Robb, who looks back on key moments in the continent's life in 2012.

International IDEA's Daniel Zovatto argues that 2013 was a key year for Latin America.

Human Rights Watch reports on the harsh conviction of a Thai editor for insulting the monarchy.    

Photo by AZHAR SHALLAL/AFP/Getty Images

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