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Notes from Jordan: Islam Meets Cinnabon

Over dinner on the roof of the Al Quasr Metropole Hotel in Amman, an Egyptian woman is telling me about an upcoming year as a guest scholar at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. She is concerned, in passing, with her academic objectives. Once I assure her that Notre Dame is a highly regarded…

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Notes from Jordan: Charting A Course Towards Arab Democracy

For the last three days, I’ve been in Amman, Jordan, getting schooled in Arab democracy from an international team of researchers from the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI). Technically, I was supposed to be there helping them design research methodology, but it looks like they’re doing just fine on their own. Monday morning found me in…

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Nigerian Anti-Corruption Official Survives Shooting, But Pressure Continues

Human Rights Watch denounces the pressure on Nigeria’s leading anti-corruption activist, Nuhu Ribadu. Since being fired from the government, Ribadu has been subject to harassment, threats and a drive-by shooting. Meanwhile his replacement at his former watchdog agency is busy sacking his best investigators. Human Rights Watch: Nigeria’s leading anti-corruption campaigner has in recent weeks…

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Thailand: “Teething Pains of a Slowly Maturing Democracy”?

In a recent post on The Global Dashboard Blog, political analyst Leo Horn criticizes the Western media’s portrayal of Thailand’s current political crisis as steeped in cliches. Resisting the typical “virtuous rural masses versus power-possessive urban elites” lens, Horn takes a broader outlook. He sees the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protest as social progress…

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Notes from the Tarmac: All Gray in London

After a redeye from Chicago, your jetlagged correspondent spends an afternoon watching the news from a Heathrow lounge: Thais blitz an airport, and Mumbai grieves. In Thailand, a well-organized anti-government faction has stormed the Bangkok airport, taking the Thai tourism economy hostage. The BBC reports that 100,000 travelers are stranded. The BBC covers the impact…

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