Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, October 14, 2013

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Juan Nagel ponders the effect of decades of chavismo on Venezuela's work ethic.

Mischa Benoit-Lavelle reports on the rising protest movement in Algeria.

Mohamed Eljarh covers on the catch-and-release kidnapping of Libya's prime minister.

Melinda Haring and Arzu Geybullyeva explain why Azerbaijan's presidential election underlines the need for assistance to civil society.

Christian Caryl argues that the Commonwealth of Nations should do more to bolster its role as a promoter of democracy around the world.

And in Democracy Lab's latest collaboration with Princeton's Innovations for Successful Societies, Rachel Johnson and Tumi Makgetla look at how South Africa was able to erase the physical borders of apartheid.

And now for this week's recommended reads:

Human Rights Watch issues a detailed report documenting a massacre of civilians by Syrian rebels. Der Spiegel presents an interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (The image above shows Syrian rebels stationed on the front line in the northeastern city of  Deir Ezzor.)

In a special in-depth report, Reuters reporters explain why Egypt's Interior Ministry, not the military, was the real force behind the toppling of Mohamed Morsi's government. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems analyzes the role of elections in Egypt's transition and presents recommendations for a path forward to democracy. And International IDEA and The Center for Constitutional Transitions at NYU Law examine Egypt's 2012 constitution and how it might be revised in order to ensure a democratic future.

Agence France-Presse reports on the peace agreement between Burma's government and Kachin rebels. The Transnational Institute offers proposals for leading Burma out of its sectarian turmoil.

The Cato Institute's Ilya Somin considers the threat posed to democracy by an electorate that revels in its own political ignorance.

Writing for The Turkey Analyst, Gareth Evans takes a critical look at the "democratizing" legislative reforms proposed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an.

AHMAD ABOUD/AFP/Getty Images

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