The West’s perception of Myanmar’s problems is often limited to the image of Aung San Suu Kyi’s struggle for political opening against the country’s ruling military junta. But Myanmar, or Burma as it is still known by many in the West, is ethnically and religiously complex, and the inability to reconcile those many differences led to decades of civil war with multiple ethnic insurgencies. While outright hostilities have for the most part ebbed, the grievances that have historically driven these conflicts are by no means resolved.
As Myanmar now emerges from isolation, the challenges facing it are numerous and can appear overwhelming. Its top-down transition has turned the country around in a way not imagined even three years ago, but it is beset by problems as it tries to shake off years of military rule. Its weak economy is run by a bureaucracy lacking capacity. Its often distracted political class has its eyes already on the 2015 elections. In the past 18 months, as authoritarian rule has actually lifted, new freedoms have triggered a wave of anti-Muslim violence across the country. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
- TWO WEEKS FREE.
- Cancel any time.
- After two weeks, just $11.99 monthly or $94.99/year.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Global Insights: When it Comes to Nonproliferation, China Has Been a ‘Free Rider’
- Jokowi's Test: Managing Indonesia's Old Guard—and Civil Society's Hopes
- Ukraine Crisis Torpedoes Russia-Japan Rapprochement
- U.S., India Seek to Move Defense Ties Beyond Arms Sales
- After Successful Visit, Modi Must Deliver on India-Nepal Relations