Myanmar’s top-down transition: Challenges for civil society

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Abstract

This article historicises the nature of political transition in Myanmar to better appreciate the challenges faced by civil society. After Myanmar’s political reforms in 2011, Western donors rushed into the country in support of what they misunderstood as a remarkable instance of democratisation. In 2019, escalating civil war, ethnic cleansing, and contracting civil liberties urge a rethink. This article argues that viewing transition in Myanmar through the lens of democratisation has always been misleading and problematic. Partial liberalisation was orchestrated by the military to safeguard its own power. Reforms have not only benefited civil society but also enabled the growth of uncivil society, fuelling sectarian violence and bolstering military rule. Operating on the assumption of democratisation, Western donors shifted funds from grass-roots networks to militarised state bureaucracies that seek to co-opt peace-building and development projects for the purposes of ethnocratic state-building and counterinsurgency. Rethinking the nature of transition is pivotal for preventing inadvertently aiding authoritarianism and conflict.

Detaljer

Författare
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of London
Forskningsområden

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier)

Nyckelord

Originalspråkengelska
Sidor (från-till)17-36
Antal sidor20
TidskriftIDS Bulletin
Volym50
Utgåva nummer3
StatusPublished - 2019
PublikationskategoriForskning
Peer review utfördJa