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Book Code: 1111012715142

Sonu Trivedi

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The 2015 verdict in Myanmar was the result of the first free and fair election after a gap of six decades. This beckons a new era of hope in Myanmar. Although we see a new political dynamics emerging, stability and survival of the regime would rest upon the constitutional reforms and resilience of the military. In the last quarter of the twentieth century, significant researches and numerous literatures have proliferated on the transition from authoritarianism to democracy. These writings have been noteworthy in shaping our understanding of the process of democratisation. With this background, the book looks into the progress and prospects of democratisation in Myanmar. It identifies the internal crisis and contradictions in the regime and its role in the ‘guided’ transition and establishment of a ‘disciplined’ democracy in Myanmar.


Sonu Trivedi is a Fellow at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library since April 2018. She joined as Assistant Professor in Department of Political Science, Zakir Husain Delhi College, University of Delhi in 2006. She has been following political developments in Southeast Asia since over a decade and has contributed extensively by means of articles and research papers on the current political developments and the critical changes taking place in Southeast Asia. She has widely travelled in the region and has done extensive field-work in—Myanmar, the core country of her research. Her book titled ‘Transition from Authoritarianism to Democracy: Comparative Study of Indonesia and Myanmar’ was published in early 2015. Her latest work ‘Emerging Horizons in India-Vietnam Relations’ co-edited with Shri Shakti Sinha was published in 2018..


Acknowledgements . 7

List of Acronyms . 9

Burmese Terms . 13

List of Tables . 15

List of Figures . 17

1. Introduction . 19
• Significance of the Study • Methodology • Structure of the Book
2. Democratisation: Theoretical Paradigm . 31
• Stages of Democratisation • Trends for Democratisation • Globalisation • Democratic Values and Human Security • Trans-national Actor • Massmedia
• Regional Influence • Mixed Cases of Authoritarian and Democratic Regimes • Hybrid regimes • Electoral Authoritarianism • Delegative Democracies
• Electoral Democracies • Illiberal Democracies • Semi- Democracies • Competitive Authoritarianism • Semi-authoritarianism • Pseudo-Democracies
• Disciplined Democracy in Myanmar • Legislature• Judiciary • Elections • The Media.

3. Political History of Myanmar Since Independence . 71
• Post-Colonial Developments • Parliamentary Democracy • Caretaker Government • Establishment of Military Rule: 1962–1974 • Constitutional Dictatorship: BSPP Rule: 1974-1988 • Military Junta: SLORC 1988- 1997 • SPDC Regime: 1998-2010 • Military Roadmap to Disciplined Democracy.

4. Authority Structure of the Military in Myanmar . 111
• Autocratic Military Framework in Myanmar • Socio-Political Roots of Authoritarianism in Myanmar • Burmese Political Values • The Theoretical Foundation of the Military in Myanmar • Justification of the Military in Myanmar • Institutions of Political Architecture in Myanmar • State Apparatus • Economy • Party Machinery • Armed Forces.

5. Delayed Democracy in Myanmar . 147
• Internal Crisis and Contradictions • Monks and Sanghas • Students and Protest Movements • NLD and the Political leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi
• Generational Change in the Military • Civil Society • Delayed Democracy in Myanmar • Economic Mismanagement • Refusal to accept the Popular Mandate • Ethnic Conflict • Military Purges and Strategies • The Closed Media.

6. Democratic Transition and Reconciliation . 175
• Progress and Prospects: 2008 onwards • 2010 General Elections • 2015 General Elections • Reform Agenda of U Thein Sein • Democratic re-building under U Htin Kyaw • Challenges of Democratisation in Myanmar • National Reconciliation • International Acceptance • Human Rights • Economic Reforms
• Battleground for Capitalist Penetration • Environmental Hazards • Changing Power Dynamics in Myanmar • Hardliners and Reformists • Reforming the Military • Democratising the NLD • Ethnic Nationalities.

7. Conclusion . 217
• Summary of the Central Arguments • Concluding Remarks.

References . 229
• Primary Sources • Secondary Sources.

Index . 249

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