A Fool's Paradise? Ethnicity, Military and Prospects for Democratisation in Myanmar

Bachelor Thesis, 2013

47 Pages, Grade: 68


Table of Content


I. Introduction
1.1. Contextualising Myanmar
1.2. A ‘Burmese Spring’: The New Light of Myanmar?
1.3. Establishing the military-ethnic dynamic
1.4. Problems of research methodology

2. Myanmar & Democracy: a conceptual approach
2.1 Democracy and democratic consolidation
2.2. Civil-military relations
2.21 Endogenous and exogenous factors in military withdrawal
2.22 Historical factors and the establishment of military culture
3. The Military in Myanmar’s politics: from independence to the present day
3.1 The ‘reserved domain’: establishing the Tatmadaw tradition
3.2 From direct rule to “disciplined democracy”: the guiding hand of the Tatmadaw in contemporary Myanmar

5. Summary. ‘Jobs for the boys’: how ethnic conflict perpetuates the military’s role in politics

6. Conclusion: looking to the future



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Major Ethnic Groups of Myanmar

Figure 1

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Burmese names

The Burmese do not employ patrilineal or matrilineal naming systems, and as such do not use surnames or family names. For this reason when naming someone the whole name is used. Thus neither Ms. Aung Sang nor Ms. Suu Kyi is correct - Aung Sang Suu Kyi is the only correct formulation. For this reason, Burmese names are listed in full throughout.

A complex system of honourifics that can infer status, age or position, are used in the Burmese language. The most common of these are listed in the glossary. Daw, as in Daw Aung Sang Suu Kyi, is commonly used to denote seniority, either in age or position, in women. Similarly, U (occasionally transliterated Oo) is used for men, as in U Thant. Occasionally these honourifics form part of a given name and where this is the case they are listed as such in full[1].

Burma or Myanmar?

Although the Burmese language name of the country has included ‘Myanmar’ since independence in 1948, the country officially held the English name ‘Burma’ until the regime changed it to ‘Myanmar’ 1989. It is important to note, however that the country name has always been ‘Myanmar’ in Burmese. The NLD, international news agencies and much of the international community continue to use ‘Burma’ to this day; but it is the subject of much controversy. Through the same period, the regime also began changing colonial era names to locally transliterated ones, as in the case of Rangoon to Yangon and others.

The word ‘Burma’ is derived from the spoken form of the name in the dialect of the dominant ethnic group, the Bamar. This has led some to dismiss it as a product of the dominance of the majority ethnic group. For reasons of clarity and to provide congruence with the Burmese language transliteration of the name, this paper will use the name ‘Myanmar’ and modern transliterations of city and place names throughout. The term Burmese will be used to denote the people or the language, as is convention[2].

I. Introduction

1.1. Contextualising Myanmar

Myanmar’s strategic and political influence in the region throughout its history has been instrumental in the formation of the modern state. The classical Kingdom of Bagan commanded authority over an area stretching across Irrawaddy Delta, the Upper Mekong and into present day India and Thailand[3]. This cultural and political power was supported in turn by military might, culminating in the sacking of Ayutthaya in 1569[4], in modern day Thailand, and marking the beginning of centuries of dominance over Siam and the region[5]. By the early colonial period Myanmar was the ‘rice basket’ of Asia, the world’s largest exporter of rice[6] with the world’s busiest immigrant port, Yangon, as its capital[7]. Military rule following independence from Ne Win’s era to the dictatorships’ of Than Shwe and Thein Sein were as oppressive as they were resilient. By the mid 2000s, scholars were rewriting the ‘rule books’ in an attempt to explain the continued existence of military rule; they rationalised this resistance through an appreciation of a complex interplay of cultural, religious and historical factors. Political developments today are trumpeted a sign that Myanmar has begun an inevitable transition to full civilian control and democracy.

The almost continual struggle to establish a Bamar nation across the centuries still informs political decision making in Myanmar today. The dynastic struggles of Bagan era; the annexation of Myanmar as part of British India for over 100 years; the subsequent struggle for self-determination; Japanese occupation during WWII; the ensuing civil war and ethnic conflicts, and more recently the neo-colonial ambitions of China and the West in their competition over resources.

Geographically Myanmar sits at the “new crossroads of Asia”[8], a geo-politically vital intersection between a rising India and China on one side, and continental Southeast Asia (SEA) on the other. Its borders with China, Laos and Thailand are characterised by mountainous, largely uninhabitable regions. The exploitation by smugglers, drug-traffickers and ethnic insurgencies has throughout history both challenged and bolstered state authority. The bitter historical experience of these regions as the launching point for foreign invasion only serves to underpin their importance in the eyes of the state[9].

The outlying zones form a horseshoe shape around the Bamar majority heartland that sits on the central and Irrawaddy delta regions. The multiethnic, multicultural areas largely reflect the geographical divisions, with the ethnic minority groups as the principal inhabitants of the periphery. A growing perception of Bamar majority dominance is bolstered by the isolation and the increased urbanisation of these lowland areas[10]. Newer claims by Chinese and Western firms to the large reserves of natural resources have sparked accusations of acquiescence to foreign interests at the expense of the ethnic minorities.[11]

1.2. A ‘Burmese Spring’: The New Light of Myanmar?

State and military power have been formally fused in Myanmar since the military coup of 1962. Colonial and pre-colonial experiences prior to this had ensured the creation of a national narrative that emphasised unity and the survival of the regime above all else. This led to the slow infiltration of military rule in the years following independence in 1948 and ultimately to the decades of authoritarian rule and economic mismanagement, exacerbated by economic sanctions. As the rest of the region began its post-colonial transition towards democracy and prosperity, brutal military crackdowns and reprisals following populist uprisings in 1988 and 2007 seemed only to confirm Myanmar’s resilience. Following the suppression of the 2007 uprising, it appeared that the hold of the military junta was absolute and intransigent.

The announcement in 2008 by the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) of wide-ranging reforms as part of the ‘roadmap to democracy’ thus represented the greatest hope of democratic reform for half a century. Following the enactment of constitutional reforms and trumpeted elections in 2010, the state now represents an ostensibly democratic, constitutional system. Throughout early 2011 the newly formed ‘civilian’ government released over 700 political prisoners, oversaw a relaxation of media censorship and legalised the right to unionisation in conjunction with a re-emergence of opposition politics. President, formally General, Thein Sein met with Aung Sang Suu Kyi (ASSK), the leader of the main opposition, the NLD, in August 2011 marking a watershed moment in state engagement with the opposition. While large portions of the press hailed this as an immediate success, scholars were divided. Some have argued that the state is incapable of producing the policy outcomes it claims to pursue[12] while others see it as the first critical step in the transition towards, and consolidation of, democracy[13]. The regime’s suspension of the Chinese-backed Myitsone dam in the face of public pressure is cited as a pivotal point in the regime’s response to the opposition and its relationship with civil society groups[14]. Observers note that the emergence of these groups and the presence of a viable opposition as deciding factors in the political trajectory, cautiously optimistic in an eventual democratic outcome.

1.3. Establishing the military-ethnic dynamic

What these accounts lack is an explanation of the military framework and decision making process, and its role in civil-military relations in what is an ostensibly a civilian government. Although the new Constitution provides safeguards for civilian autonomy, it simultaneously guarantees military veto power in the Hluttaw legislature. Whilst some have pointed to the relative inactivity of the military in exercising these powers as evidence of their acquiescence to politics[15], this paper will argue it points to broader concerns on the part of the military elites; concerns over territorial integrity and the centralisation of Myanmar.

Despite the regime singing peace agreements with most the most of the armed ethnic insurgencies in the 1990s, many conflicts are still ongoing. The latest Burmese census from 1983 showed that ethnic Bamars constituted 69 percent of the population; Shan, Karen, Arakanese, Mon and Kachin groups made up 20 percent with the remainder formed of over a hundred smaller language groups[16] ; representing an equally diverse number of political aims and degrees of political participation. The recent reform process has seen renewed calls for autonomy and a re-emergence of armed incidents in many of these areas. Despite recently signed ceasefires and its more general withdrawal from politics, the military continues to operate unilaterally in contravention of these agreements[17]. An analysis of the military framework will show how the development of military’s emphasis on state centralisation and integrity has led to its subsequent adoption of ethnic conflict as its ‘reserved domain’.

The military and ethnic movements in Myanmar thus find their definition in opposition to one another, with the military locating its raison d’être in the suppression of these ethnic movements. This paper will argue that the current reform process, far from being a sign of an irreversible trajectory towards democracy, is a choreographed, long-term policy adopted by the military to perpetuate its position in politics. The theoretical framework of exogenous and endogenous factors behind military withdrawal will demonstrate how the internal structure of the Tatmadaw impacts its political decision making. The cultural and historical factors behind this predispose it to consider the ethnic question as the primary purpose for its existence. Consequently, despite progress towards democratisation and largely favourable conditions to withdrawal, the military still occupies a position as the primary arbiter of power, through an appeal to unity. By simultaneously maintaining this political power, and failing to tackle the ethnic question outside of the military sphere, the Tatmadaw creates a self-perpetuating paradigm. The constitutionalistion of a political system which shuts down meaningful opposition only adds to this. By seeing itself as the solution to the ethnic question, when it is, in fact, the cause, the military position in politics fatally undermines Myanmar’s prospects for democracy.

1.4. Problems of research methodology

The problems encountered when researching Myanmar are similar to those encountered in any closed and developing state. Statistics and raw data are hard to come by, either on poorly maintained government websites or physical archives. Despite some moves towards press freedom, much of the English language media available are little more than outlets for the regime. Those that do have accurate reports are generally exile-movements, not privy to central government information. 30-year-old census data is symptomatic of the weakness of the state over the past few decades and leaves a principal tool for political analysis severely lacking[18]. Newer estimates suggest that the population had doubled to 60 million by 2003[19], whilst updated ethnicity figures are non-existent.

The pace of change in the country has left scholars scrambling to gain theoretical hold on the reform process that has left much of the pre-2008 literature struggling to maintain relevance. With so much now resting on the actions of a small elite it is difficult to predict the political trajectory of the country. Perhaps for these reasons, observers tend to play down decisions and policy formed from within the opaque political hierarchy and focus on the hard facts of the reform process. Oppenheimer points out that these qualities ensure that analysts veer between overemphasising the continuation of the status quo, on the one hand, and predicting widespread change on the other[20]. These factors may go some way in explaining the lack of analysis of the military with regard to the ongoing democratic transition.

2. Myanmar & Democracy: a conceptual approach

2.1 Democracy and democratic consolidation

Democracy and its components are a highly contested subject and arguably “the most complex concept in political science.”[21] This complexity is reflected in the establishment of a multitude of different approaches within the literature. We can divide the theories of the ‘raw’ concept of democracy into two camps, with proceduralist or minimalist on one side and maximalist or substantial on the other. The procedural minimum concept of democracy, developed by Schumpeter, describes the institutionalisation of political decisions through a “competitive struggle for the peoples vote”[22]. Dahl expanded on this in his concept of polyarchy, developing a broader concept of procedural democracy based on “open contestation [and] public competition”[23], in what is now arguably the most influential concept of democracy within comparative politics. O’Donnell and Schmitter argue that this polycracy creates a stable mix of liberalisation and democratisation that “may have the effect of freezing existing social and economic arrangements”[24].

Other scholars have gone further and developed a concept of liberal democracy, in which institutionally horizontal checks and balances, such as the rule of law and the absence of political interference from the military[25], are analysed to measure this still broader concept of democratisation. Empirical evidence from the ‘third-wave’ of democratisation would suggest that a large number of newly democratising states do not fulfil many of these criteria, despite greater moves towards liberalisation, indicating “liberalisation and democratization are not synonymous”[26]. They can be classified as ‘ambiguous’ or ‘hybrid’ regimes where democratic window-dressing conceals an essentially authoritarian regime[27]. Despite possessing the procedural minimum of democracy, including free and fair elections, the citizens are subject to what O’Donnell et al. call “low intensity citizenship”[28]. Thus, although these states possess political rights enshrined in law, and in some cases checks and balances, the existence of de facto informal restrictions “curbs[s] the effective operation of the formal rules and significantly distort[s] their value”[29].

These low-quality democracies have defined the political landscape of SEA for a number of decades, although are there significant differences in the way in which certain democratic institutions have manifested themselves. Croissant and Bünte expand this framework, suggesting that SEA states can be divided into three groups of political regimes[30]. The first group, in which formal democratic institutions co-exist with authoritarian rule or practices, includes Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia. Levitsky and Way argue that these states are characterised by the existing regime’s use of intimidation, state resources and the media to render the opposition politically impotent[31]. The second group is comprised of “unambiguously authoritarian regimes”[32], with no political or civil space for political pluralism. The third and final are those countries which in the last two decades or so “have experienced a transition to democracy in one way or another”[33], without experiencing any improvement in the democratic quality of the regimes.

Croissant and Bünte’s research draws on 2008 data from a selection of democratic indicators supplied by think-tanks, including Freedom House, and no longer reflects the political reality of Myanmar in particular. Freedom House figures from 2013 bear this out, showing an improvement in Myanmar’s ‘political rights’ and ‘civil liberties’ indicators from those given for 2008[34]. Using Croissant and Bünte’s calculus with the revised figures moves Myanmar from the second group to the third group alongside Thailand and the Philippines. Thailand’s experience of democratisation, in its cycle of coups and counter coups, typifies the resilience of the nepotistic informal power-structures that underpin third group low-quality democracies. Despite the damning outlook for overall SEA democracy, Crouch argues that Indonesia, comprised of thousands of ethnic groups and a history of armed insurgencies, as well as a legacy of brutal military rule, represents a success of democratisation in the region.[35] Democratic consolidation in the country has gone some way to being fully realised and although challenges and issues remain a broad consensus exists over the success of the Indonesia model.[36]

Alongside the development of the liberal democracy concept during the third-wave era, scholars developed what became known as the ‘transitology’ paradigm. Rustow identified national unity and conflicts over the rules of the game as the two crucial factors that would initialise the process of democratisation[37] ; he thus posited that the democratic transition process involved a pact between the authoritarian and opposition elites, with the leading role taken by the elites. In this paradigm Chan and Shen identify three tasks as essential in successful transition: “to break with the authoritarian past; to seek cooperation with the authoritarian elite; and to come up with a proposal for democratic institution”[38]. This paradigm’s strengths lay in its recognition of the elites’ role in “[defining] rules and procedures whose configuration will determine likely winners and losers in the future”[39]. Put another way it accounts for the residual impact an ostensibly outgoing regime can have on the future democratic framework and outcome.

Some have argued that, despite the importance of these factors in the implementation of democracy, the paradigm’s failure lies in its lack of an account of the nature of authoritarian regimes and their particular social contexts[40]. The transitologist paradigm was severely challenged by hybrid regimes’ resistance to democracy during the third-wave of democratisation. Bünte, Chan and Shen argue to overcome this the transitologist approach must be augmented with an understanding of the historical and social contexts[41], for “without an empirically detailed and historically grounded understanding of the institutional context, political studies will be filled only with hollow explanations assuming that the elites are simply pursing their own interests”[42]. To understand the reasons why, or why not, the elites choose to democratise in Myanmar, and who these elites actually are, a conceptual understanding of historically decisive factors is required.

2.2. Civil-military relations

Military regimes should be distinguished from both other forms of authoritarianism and democracy. Croissant et al. describe civilian control of the military as a prerequisite of a liberal democracy, using Huntingdon’s definition of civilian control as: “the extent to which... the armed forces as a whole respond to the direction of the civilian leaders of government.”[43] Diamond dubs the presence of a non-elected body that effectively limit the governing power of elected officials as “tutelary authority”[44]. Military bodies that wield these tutelary powers under an ostensibly democratic regime thus create a “tutelary democracy”[45], where important institutional processes are in the hands of the military command. The civil-military relations framework is conceived as a continuum, with full civilian control on one side and military control on the other. With civilian control of the military as a prerequisite, the establishment or re-establishment of civilian control thus becomes a central concern for democratisation.

In congruence with a widening of the security agenda in International Relations literature, recent developments have seen civil-military relations theorists move away from ‘coup politics’ and military rule towards a more general concept of security and security sector governance. This was a result of the perceived inadequacies of theories which merely emphasised the military’s direct impact on internal and external security, rather than the newer paradigm of security threats that increasingly transcended international borders[46]. This had led to an increased emphasis on human security, with the use of citizens, rather than the state as the primary referent of security concerns. These theories, while useful in establishing the processes by which effective civilian control over the military can be established, may offer little in the context of SEA states as they suffer from what Collier and Levitsky call “conceptual stretch”[47], rendering it incapable of empirical analysis. A widening of the security agenda thus fails to establish a causal link between civil-military relations and democratic outcomes[48].

Following Lawson, and Croissant et. al, military intervention in politics is conceived as a spectrum[49] of military control of government, military influence and military participation. This, as Bünte and Callahan point out, indicates that the model of civil-military control does not necessarily follow regime type[50]. Democratic regimes can entail some form of military control, just as autocracies can exist under civilian control. The military plays a decisive role in all regimes, either because its existence underpins the very existence of the state or in its decisive role in shaping defence policy and implementation. That the consolidation of democratic regimes requires civilian supremacy in politics points to the suggestion that a move away from authoritarianism will often entail a shift in civil-military relations. To establish what factors underpin these shifts requires a degree of contextualisation.

Two theoretical camps have emerged in an attempt to establish this connection[51]. The first relies on an account of internal military variables while the second highlights external factors in informing degrees of military intervention. As Nordlinger points out however, an absolute separation of these two factors is a false dichotomy[52] as it fails to take into account the interdependence of the two previously ring-fenced concepts. Croissant acknowledges the veracity of this statement but suggests that the division need not entail a lack of understanding[53] of the connections between the two. For the sake of analytical clarity Croissant thus provides an account of mutually interdependent ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors. “Pull” factors as they pull the military into intervention in civil politics and “push” factors as they threaten the internal cohesion and motives of the military and push them away from civil intervention[54]. These factors are thus deemed endogenous and exogenous factors and can be divided into subcategories. Croissant suggests that these subcategories consist of eight variables. The military’s personal interests; corporate interests; cohesion; ideology and the configuration of the civilian sphere; economic development; internal security; and external security.[55] Whilst these variables are a useful analytical tool, the literature provides very little consensus as to the content of these subcategories[56], depending instead on context. For the purposes of this paper, these subcategories will be subsumed into two more general umbrella headings.

2.21 Endogenous and exogenous factors in military withdrawal

A withdrawal from the political sphere is engendered by the belief among military command that the political conditions are favourable to support the interests of the military overall. Even if there is a desire to withdraw, armies demand sufficient monetary resources to pay staff and equipment costs; if these are not met the stability of the institution itself will come under threat. The independence of the judiciary as an institution may make officers wary of a political withdrawal through the fear of prosecution for atrocities committed prior to this[57]. In some cases, the military may have significant business interests which are only sustainable through continued political participation, especially if the military’s activities extend to illegal practices such as drugs or arms dealing. These activities can also impact on the transition towards, and operation of, post-authoritarian regimes as the threat, or implied threat, of the military being able to incite criminal elements in the country may hamper reforms. For these reasons, post-authoritarian governments are often saddled with the legislative or constitutional privileges of the army. Factional and ideological factors can have a significant impact. If an army is divided along ideological, ethnic or class grounds, internal unity is compromised and may impact on its ability to conduct its affairs in the political sphere. Conversely strong cohesion can perpetuate its involvement in politics, especially in the face of factionalised opposition.

Some have argued that military intervention in politics occurs only when the existing or non-military institutional structures are too weak or ineffective to govern the country[58]. Exogenous factors for withdrawal thus stem from the creation or reintroduction of viable institutions with which to usurp military rule. In those countries in which the non-military political culture has been eroded by prolonged periods of military rule, Bünte suggests that unified and effective civil society movements such as opposition parties, separatist groups or students act as “a vanguard to force the military out of office”[59].

This however may only be a temporary solution if the incoming regime is unable to overcome the lack of institutional structures put in place by the outgoing regime. If the civil society movements aims lack congruence with that of the military, progress towards long term solution may be hampered. These concerns are amplified in situations of successionist or guerilla movements, particularly if any viable political opposition does also not wish to see progress with these conflicts. Military intervention is thus more likely when there is little or no consenus over the political trajectory from any opposition movement and when these movements or groups are themselves fractured. The prevalence of these factors varies from country to country and it is the ways in which endogenous and exogenous factors interact that impact the likelyhood of military withdrawal.

2.22 Historical factors and the establishment of military culture

The endogenous and exogenous factors may explain the continued resilience of military rule but it provides little account of how the dynamic was created in the first place. Singh thus suggests that the contingency of the subcategories on context underpins its unsuitability for use in this instance. The structure is not valid, he argues, as it draws on a priori assumptions regarding the structure of western nation states that do not hold in developing and transitional countries and a historical approach should thus be used[60].

Whilst a strict historical approach has its benefits, recent studies on SEA countries have used this broad internal/external framework to successfully analyse civil-military relations and its impact on democratisation[61]. By avoiding a framework which rests on narrow concepts of western democratic institutions, and instead augmenting an understanding of broad endogenous and exogenous factors with an appreciation of the historical context of both civil and military institutions, a satisfactory balance between empirical and theoretical analysis is reached. Put another way: “what comes first (“even if it was in some sense accidental”) conditions what comes later”[62]. This is particularly true in SEA where the institutional structure of the military can often predate those of the state itself. In these situations the residual force of military culture and structure impacts on the later institutions in such a fundamental way that independent analysis of these factors without reference to the ‘military impact’ becomes impossible.


[1] For more on Burmese names see: Mi Mi Khiang, "Burmese Names: A guide,"The Atlantic 1958, Accessed: 7/1/2013.

[2] For more on this issue see: Lowell Dittmer, "Burma vs. Myanmar: What's in a Name?,"Asian Survey 48, no. 6 (2008).

[3] R.H. Taylor, The State in Myanmar (London: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd, 2009). xxvi.

[4] An event still remembered and commemorated in Thailand today. A popular Thai film about the event, Sukhothai, is indicative of the cultural residue the Thais still possess today about the dominance of the Burmese.

[5] B. J. Terwiel, Thailand's Political History: From the 13th Century to Recent Times (Bangkok: River Books, 2011). 22.

[6] Taylor, The State in Myanmar: 141.

[7] Thant Myint-U, Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia (London: Faber & Faber, 2011). 18.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Taylor, The State in Myanmar: 13.

[10] M. Than, "Myanmar: Preoccupation with Regime Survival, National Unity and Stability," in Asian Security Practice: Material and Ideational Influences, ed. M. Alagappa (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1998), 392.

[11] Brian McCartan, "Land grabbing as big business in Myanmar,"Asia Times Online, 8/03/2013, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/SEA-01-080313.html, (Accessed: 10/03/2013.)

[12] Sean Turnell, "Myanmar in 2011,"Asian Survey 52, no. 1 (2012).

[13] Muang Zarni, "An Insider View of Reconciliation," in Myanmar/Burma: Inside Challenges, Outside Interests, ed. L. Rieffel (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2010); Morten B Pedersen, "The Politics of Burma's "Democratic" Transition,"Critical Asian Studies 43, no. 1 (2011).

[14] "Burma dam: Work halted on divisive Myitsone project,"BBC News, Accessed: 5/1/2013, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-15121801, (Accessed: 5/1/2013.)

[15] Mary Callahan, "The Generals Loosen Their Grip,"Journal of Democracy 23, no. 4 (2012).

[16] Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung, "Beyond armed resistance: ethnonational politics in Burma (Myanmar)," in Policy Studies (Honolulu: East-West Center, 2011), 3

[17] Al Jazeera, "Kachin rebels say Myanmar ignoring ceasefire,"Al Jazeera, 21/2/2013, Accessed: 25/2/2013, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/01/20131212566922246.html, (Accessed: 26/2/2013.)

[18] The government, in conjunction with the UN have recently announced that they are to carry out a census this year. See: Geoffrey Goddard, "Ministry, UN launch project for first Myanmar census in 30 years,"The Myanmar Times, http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/yangon/3606-ministry-un-launch-project-for-first-myanmar-census-in-30-years.html, (Accessed: 5/1/2013.)

[19] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website, "About Myanmar: Population," (2013)

[20] Michael F Oppenheimer, "From Prediction to Recognition: Using Alternate Scenarios to Improve Foreign Policy Decisions,"SAIS Review 32, no. 1 (2012): 21.

[21] Carsten Q Schneider and Philippe C Schmitter, "Liberalization, transition and consolidation: measuring the components of democratization,"Democratization 11, no. 5 (2004): 61.

[22] Joseph A Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy (London: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2008). 242.

[23] R.A. Dahl, Polyarchy: Participation & Opposition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971). 3.

[24] Guillermo O’Donnell, Philippe C Schmitter, and Laurence Whitehead, Transitions from authoritarian rule: comparative perspectives, vol. 4 (London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986). 12.

[25] Larry Diamond, Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999). 34.

[26] O’Donnell, Schmitter, and Whitehead, Transitions from authoritarian rule: comparative perspectives, 4: 9.

[27] G.A. O'Donnell, Dissonances: democratic critiques of democracy (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007). 54.

[28] O’Donnell, Schmitter, and Whitehead, Transitions from authoritarian rule: comparative perspectives, 4: 26.

[29] Aurel Croissant and Marco Bünte, The Crisis of Democratic Governance in Southeast Asia (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). 3.

[30] Ibid., 3-5.

[31] Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way, "The rise of competitive authoritarianism,"Journal of Democracy 13, no. 2 (2002): 61.

[32] Croissant and Bünte, The Crisis of Democratic Governance in Southeast Asia: 5.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Freedom House, "Burma Report," in Freedom in the World Index (Freedom House, 2013)

[35] H.A. Crouch, Political Reform in Indonesia After Soeharto (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2010).

[36] See: E. Aspinall and M. Mietzner, Problems of Democratisation in Indonesia: Elections, Institutions, and Society (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2010); J. Bertrand, Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict in Indonesia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Aurel Croissant, Paul W. Chambers, and Philip Völkel, "Democracy, the Military and Security Sector Governance in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand," in The Crisis of Democratic Governance in Southeast Asia, ed. A. Croissant and M. Bünte (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011); S.K.M. Tun, State-Building in Myanmar (1988-2010) and Suharto's Indonesia: A Study of Building a Democratic Developmental State in Myanmar (Saarbrucken, Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing, 2012).

[37] Dankwart A Rustow, "Transitions to democracy: Toward a dynamic model,"Comparative politics 2, no. 3 (1970).

[38] Paul Chi-yuen Chan and Simon Shen, "Challenging the Transitoligist Approach: Myanmar's Troubled Democratization," in Public Governance in Asia and the Limits of Electoral Democracy ed. B. Bridges and Lock S. Ho (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010), 233.

[39] O’Donnell, Schmitter, and Whitehead, Transitions from authoritarian rule: comparative perspectives, 4: 6.

[40] Marco Bünte, "Burma's transition to "disciplined democracy": Abdication or institutionalization of military rule?," (GIGA working papers, 2011); Chan and Shen, "Challenging the Transitoligist Approach: Myanmar's Troubled Democratization."; Larry J. Diamond and Doh Chull Shin, Institutional Reform and Democratic Consolidation in Korea (Washington, D.C.: Hoover Inst. Press, 1999).

[41] Bünte, "Burma's transition to "disciplined democracy": Abdication or institutionalization of military rule?."; Chan and Shen, "Challenging the Transitoligist Approach: Myanmar's Troubled Democratization."

[42] Chan and Shen, "Challenging the Transitoligist Approach: Myanmar's Troubled Democratization," 235.

[43] S.P. Huntington, The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1957). 81.

[44] Diamond, Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation: 7-15.

[45] David Collier and Steven Levitsky, "Democracy with Adjectives: Conceptual Innovation in Comparative Research,"World Politics 49, no. 03 (1997).

[46] See: David A Baldwin, "The concept of security,"Review of International Studies 23, no. 1 (1997).

[47] Collier and Levitsky, "Democracy with Adjectives: Conceptual Innovation in Comparative Research," 435.

[48] See: Croissant, Chambers, and Völkel, "Democracy, the Military and Security Sector Governance in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand."

[49] Croissant and Bünte, The Crisis of Democratic Governance in Southeast Asia; Croissant, Chambers, and Völkel, "Democracy, the Military and Security Sector Governance in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand."; Stephanie Lawson, "Conceptual Issues in the Comparative Study of Regime Change and Democratization,"Comparative politics 25, no. 2 (1993).

[50] Bünte, "Burma's transition to "disciplined democracy": Abdication or institutionalization of military rule?."; Mary Callahan, "The Endurance of Military Rule in Burma: Not Why, But Why Not?'," (2010).

[51] Muthiah Alagappa, Coercion and Governance: The Declining Political Role of the Military in Asia (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2001); Callahan, "The Endurance of Military Rule in Burma: Not Why, But Why Not?'."; Larry Jay Diamond, "Thinking about hybrid regimes,"Journal of Democracy 13, no. 2 (2002).

[52] Eric A Nordlinger, Soldiers in politics: military coups and governments (London: Prentice-Hall, 1977). 144.

[53] Aurel Croissant, "Riding the tiger: civilian control and the military in democratizing Korea,"Armed Forces & Society 30, no. 3 (2004): 359.

[54] Ibid., 360.

[55] Ibid.

[56] See: Mark Beeson and Alex J Bellamy, Securing Southeast Asia (London: Routledge, 2007); Bünte, "Burma's transition to "disciplined democracy": Abdication or institutionalization of military rule?."; Croissant and Bünte, The Crisis of Democratic Governance in Southeast Asia.

[57] Bünte, "Burma's transition to "disciplined democracy": Abdication or institutionalization of military rule?," 11.

[58] Muthiah Alagappa, Asian Security Practice : Material and Ideational Influences (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1998), Book; Huntington, The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations.

[59] Bünte, "Burma's transition to "disciplined democracy": Abdication or institutionalization of military rule?," 12.

[60] B. Singh, Civil-military relations in democratising Indonesia: the potentials and limits to change (Canberra: Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University, 2001). 43-5.

[61] See: Diamond and Shin, Institutional Reform and Democratic Consolidation in Korea; Crouch, Political Reform in Indonesia After Soeharto; Croissant and Bünte, The Crisis of Democratic Governance in Southeast Asia: 190-208; Croissant, "Riding the tiger: civilian control and the military in democratizing Korea."

[62] R.D. Putnam, R. Leonardi, and Rafaella Y. Nanetti, Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1993). 8.

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A Fool's Paradise? Ethnicity, Military and Prospects for Democratisation in Myanmar
Durham University  (School of Government & International Affairs)
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Myanmar, Burma, Democratisation, Military Government, authoritarianism, Southeast Asia, Ethnicity, Karen, Shan, Mon, Democratic Transition, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, Aung Sang, democracy, post-colonial, colonial, third-wave, NLD, Military rule, ASEAN, Politics, democratic consolidation
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Findley Penn-Hughes (Author), 2013, A Fool's Paradise? Ethnicity, Military and Prospects for Democratisation in Myanmar, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/280409


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