Ethnic Politics in Burma

Author: Ashley South
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN:
Format: PDF
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This book examines the ideas which have structured half a century of civil war in Burma, and the roles which political elites and foreign networks - from colonial missionaries to aid worker activists - have played in mediating understandings of ethnic conflict in the country. The book includes a brief overview of precolonial and colonial Burma, and the emergence ethnic identity as a politically salient characteristic. It describes the struggle for independence and the parliamentary era (1948-62), and the quarter century of military-socialist rule that followed (1962-88). The book analyses the causes, dynamics and impacts of on-going armed conflict in Burma, since the 1988 'democracy uprising' through to the 2007 'saffron revolution' (when monks and ordinary people took to the streets in protest against the military regime). There is a special focus on the plight of displaced people, and the ways in which local and international agencies have responded. The book also examines one of the most significant, but least well-understood, political developments in Burma over the last twenty years: the series of ceasefires agreed since 1989 between the military government and most armed ethnic groups. The positive and negative impacts of the ceasefires are analysed, including a study of civil society among ethnic nationality communities. This analysis leads to a discussion of the nature of social and political change in Burma, and a re-examination of some commonly held assumptions regarding the country, including issues of ethnicity and federalism. The book concludes with a brief Epilogue, taking account of Cyclone Nargis, which struck Burma on 2 and 3 May 2008, resulting in a massive humanitarian crisis.

Ethnic Politics in Burma

Author: Ashley South
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113412953X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
This book examines the ideas which have structured half a century of civil war in Burma, and the roles which political elites and foreign networks - from colonial missionaries to aid worker activists - have played in mediating understandings of ethnic conflict in the country. The book includes a brief overview of precolonial and colonial Burma, and the emergence ethnic identity as a politically salient characteristic. It describes the struggle for independence and the parliamentary era (1948-62), and the quarter century of military-socialist rule that followed (1962-88). The book analyses the causes, dynamics and impacts of on-going armed conflict in Burma, since the 1988 'democracy uprising' through to the 2007 'saffron revolution' (when monks and ordinary people took to the streets in protest against the military regime). There is a special focus on the plight of displaced people, and the ways in which local and international agencies have responded. The book also examines one of the most significant, but least well-understood, political developments in Burma over the last twenty years: the series of ceasefires agreed since 1989 between the military government and most armed ethnic groups. The positive and negative impacts of the ceasefires are analysed, including a study of civil society among ethnic nationality communities. This analysis leads to a discussion of the nature of social and political change in Burma, and a re-examination of some commonly held assumptions regarding the country, including issues of ethnicity and federalism. The book concludes with a brief Epilogue, taking account of Cyclone Nargis, which struck Burma on 2 and 3 May 2008, resulting in a massive humanitarian crisis.

The Political Resurgence of the Military in Southeast Asia

Author: Marcus Mietzner
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136682228
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In the late 1990s, prominent scholars of civil-military relations detected a decline in the political significance of the armed forces across Southeast Asia. A decade later, however, this trend seems to have been reversed. The Thai military launched a coup in 2006, the Philippine armed forces expanded their political privileges under the Arroyo presidency, and the Burmese junta successfully engineered pseudo-democratic elections in 2010. This book discusses the political resurgence of the military in Southeast Asia throughout the 2000s. Written by distinguished experts on military affairs, the individual chapters explore developments in Burma, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, East Timor, Indonesia and Singapore. They not only assess, but also offer explanations for the level of military involvement in politics in each country. Consequently, the book also makes a significant contribution to the comparative debate about militaries in politics. Whilst conditions obviously differ from country to country, most authors in this book conclude that the shape of civil-military relations is not predetermined by historic, economic or cultural factors, but is often the result of intra-civilian conflicts and divisive or ineffective political leadership.

The Politics of Aid to Burma

Author: Anne Decobert
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317517032
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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For over sixty years, conflict between state forces and armed ethnic groups was ongoing in parts of the borderlands of Burma. Ethnic minority communities were subjected to systematic and widespread abuses by an increasingly complex patchwork of armed state and non-state actors. Populations in more remote and disputed border areas typically had little to no access to even basic healthcare and education services. As part of its counter-insurgency campaign, the military state also historically restricted international humanitarian access to civilian populations in unstable border areas. It was in this context that "cross-border aid" to Burma had developed, as an alternative mechanism for channelling assistance to populations denied aid through more conventional systems. Yet by the late 2000s, national and international changes had significant impacts on an aid debate, which had important political and ethical implications. Through an ethnographic study of a cross-border aid organisation working on the Thailand-Burma border, this book focuses on the political and ethical dilemmas of "humanitarian government". It explores the ways in which aid systems come to be defined as legitimate or illegitimate, humanitarian or "un-humanitarian", in an international context that has witnessed the multiplication of often-conflicting humanitarian systems and models. It examines how an "embodied history" of violence can shape the worldviews and actions of local humanitarian actors, as well as institutions created to mitigate human suffering. It goes on to look at the complex and often-invisible webs of local organisations, international NGOs, donors, armed groups and other actors, which can develop in a cross-border and extra-legal context – a context where competing constructions of systems as legitimate or illegitimate are highlighted. Exploring the history of humanitarianism from the local aid perspective of Burma, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of Southeast Asian Studies, Anthropology of Humanitarian Aid and Development Studies.

State of Strife

Author: Martin Smith
Publisher: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
ISBN: 9812304797
Format: PDF, ePub
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Since independence in 1948, Burma has been the scene of some of the most-sustained and diverse ethnic insurgencies in the contemporary world. This study examines the dynamics of conflict that have caused internal wars to become so uniquely entrenched in one of Asia's most troubled lands. Against a backdrop of conflict, different nationality movements have been able to adapt and survive, utilizing the changing political, economic, and international conditions in the country. In the process, armed opposition became a way of life in the borderlands, while the central state became increasingly militarized. Burma's conflicts, however, have not been static. This study identifies five major cycles of conflict that have seen the national government transform from a parliamentary democracy at independence through Gen. Ne Win's "Burmese Way to Socialism" to the current military State Peace and Development Council. As the political impasse continues, ethnic ceasefires and open-door economic policies are changing the structures of conflict. In an overview of humanitarian and international dilemmas, the study concludes that conflict resolution-with integrated support from the international community-remains a primary need if Burma and its peoples are to achieve peace, democracy, and a stable nation-state.

Religion and Conflict in South and Southeast Asia

Author: Linell E. Cady
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134153058
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A major new contribution to comparative and multidisciplinary scholarship on the alignment of religion and violence in the contemporary world, with a special focus on South and Southeast Asia. Religion and Conflict in South and Southeast Asia shows how this region is the site of recent and emerging democracies, a high degree of religious pluralism, the largest Muslim populations in the world, and several well-organized terrorist groups, making understanding of the dynamics of religious conflict and violence particularly urgent. By bringing scholars from religious studies, political science, sociology, anthropology and international relations into conversation with each other, this volume brings much needed attention to the role of religion in fostering violence in the region and addresses strategies for its containment or resolution. The dearth of other literature on the intersection of religion, politics and violence in contemporary South and Southeast Asia makes the timing of this book particularly relevant. This book will of great interest to advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students of Asian politics, security studies and conflict studies.

The other Karen in Myanmar

Author: Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 0739168525
Format: PDF, Docs
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"This book is the first study to an offer insight into non-armed, non-insurgent members of ethnic groups that are associated with well-known armed organizations. It analyzes the nature of the relationships between the "quiet" minorities and their "rebel" counterparts and assesses how these intra-ethnic differences and divisions affect the armed resistance movement, negotiation with state authorities, conflict resolution, and political reform. This field-based study of the Karen in Burma also provides theoretical and policy implications for other ethnically polarized countries."--Publisher's description.

Child Security in Asia

Author: Cecilia Jacob
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134508859
Format: PDF
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Millions of children around the world are affected by conflict, and the enduring aftermath of war in post-conflict societies. This book reflects on the implications of children’s insecurity for governments and the international humanitarian community by drawing on original field research in post-conflict Cambodia and in Burma’s eastern conflict zones. The book examines the way that politics and discourses of security and child protection have further marginalised rather than enhanced the protection of children. In Cambodia, threats from trafficking, exploitative labour, and high levels of domestic and social violence challenge the government and the international humanitarian community to respond to the new human security terrain that is the legacy of three decades of political violence. Burma has endured over 60 years of insurgency and civil conflict in ethnic minority states, significantly affecting children who are recruited into armies, killed, maimed or tortured, and displaced. Analysing the theoretical and practical challenges faced in addressing children’s security in global politics, the book offers a novel framework for responding to the politics of protection that is at the heart of this crucial issue. It is a useful contribution to studies on Asian Politics and International Relations and Security.

Culture Religion and Conflict in Muslim Southeast Asia

Author: Joseph A. Camilleri
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415625262
Format: PDF, Docs
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By examining the sometimes surprising and unexpected roles that culture and religion have played in mitigating or exacerbating conflicts, this book explores the cultural repertoires from which Southeast Asian political actors have drawn to negotiate the pluralism that has so long been characteristic of the region. Focusing on the dynamics of identity politics and the range of responses to the socio-political challenges of religious and ethnic pluralism, the authors assembled in this book illuminate the principal regional discourses that attempt to make sense of conflict and tensions. They examine local notions of "dialogue," "reconciliation," "civility" and "conflict resolution" and show how varying interpretations of these terms have informed the responses of different social actors across Southeast Asia to the challenges of conflict, culture and religion. The book demonstrates how stumbling blocks to dialogue and reconciliation can and have been overcome in different parts of Southeast Asia and identifies a range of actors who might be well placed to make useful contributions, propose remedies, and initiate action towards negotiating the region's pluralism. This book provides a much needed regional and comparative analysis that makes a significant contribution to a better understanding of the interfaces between region and politics in Southeast Asia.

The State and Ethnic Politics in SouthEast Asia

Author: David Brown
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134797060
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Ethnic tensions in Southeast Asia represent a clear threat to the future stability of the region. David Brown's clear and systematic study outlines the patterns of ethnic politics in: * Burma * Singapore * Indonesia * Malaysia * Thailand The study considers the influence of the State on the formation of ethnic groups and investigates why some countries are more successful in 'managing' their ethnic politics than others.