Myanmar: Contesting Conceptual Landscapes in the Politics of Buddhism

Popular and scholarly representations of the recent Buddhist mobilizations in Myanmar raise the issue of the how theoretical and analytical approaches shape the study of Buddhism, politics and society. The rise of the nationalist monastic organization MaBaTha and its efforts to enact restrictive legislation and shape electoral politics in the recently democratizing Myanmar has again placed the [...]

Familial Transphobia and Kinship of Opens in Myanmar

In Myanmar a range of vernacular Burmese terms and borrowed English expressions are used to denote gender and sexual minority subject positions. The main male subject positions are apwint (“open”), apôn (“hider”), homo and thu nge (“guy”). Opens are males who act and appear feminine. For opens, taking female hormones, imported from China, is a common although not universal rite of [...]

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her discontents

A strange thing has occurred as Burma’s current political transition rolls on toward its unknown destination: the world’s most beloved human rights icon has turned into an object of widespread opprobrium. Indeed, a glance through opinion stories over the past year makes one wonder if there is anyone in Burma taking more abuse than democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (DASSK)? While she is [...]

Tamnan Krasue – Constructing a Khmer Ghost for a Thai Film

German scholar, Benjamin Baumann, writes about Phi Krasue, one of the most well-known and most frightening uncanny beings of Thai folklore. Like most uncanny beings classified with the pre-fix Phi, Phi Krasue had no singular origin myth that reached beyond the local discourse, but that changed in 2002 with the release of the Film “Tamnan Krasue” which locates the origin of this uncanny being in 13th century Angkorian Khmer culture. This article offers interpretations as to why this idiosyncratic origin myth appeared in the aftermath of the Asian Financial Crisis and how it may contribute to our understanding of contemporary Thai-Cambodian relations. [...]

Moving Myanmar: The Future of Military Prominence

David I. Steinberg, Distinguished Professor from Georgetown University writes about Myanmar and the role of the military as the country moves forward. Looking at social mobility specifically, David argues that Myanmar society was more open before it was choked by the military in the past and talks about how at that time, the only avenue for social mobility was through the army. Today, other avenues have reopened, with the possibility of making Myanmar a more balanced society. [...]

A “Three Insecurities Perspective” for the Changing Myanmar

Maung Zarni, a research fellow at the London School of Economics, argues that the best way to look at the current changes in Myanmar is through his “Three Insecurity Paradigms”, namely, national security, global security and human security. Zarni denounces the Thein Sein reforms as crude responses to the regime’s own needs and to the expectation of the world, with little account for the security of ordinary Myanmar people. [...]

Reassessing Myanmar’s Glasnost

Maitrii Aung-Thwin from NUS, Singapore, examines if Myanmar is witnessing its own Glasnost , the openness that signaled the end of the Cold War, and juxtaposes this against what is taking place in Myanmar today. [...]

Prioritising Agricultural Reform in Myanmar

Sean Turnell and Wylie Bradford of the Macquarie University, Australia, look at the agricultural sector in Myanmar, the source of income of the majority of Myanmar people, and plot the important role it will play in enabling the country’s economic renaissance. They propose a set of recommendations on how to promote and sustain this sector, bearing in mind the potential of Myanmar in the world’s agricultural markets. [...]

Strengths and Weaknesses of Thein Sein’s Leadership

Yoshihiro Nakanishi of Kyoto University profiles Thein Sein, delving deep into his leadership and poses the question, “is democratization truly taking place with him at the helm?” His answer is more startling than his question. He believes that the plans of reform were well laid by the previous generation of military elites; thus they themselves are automatically entrenched in the new power structure. [...]

Myanmar yang bergerak: Masa depan kedudukan penting militer

Myanmar yang bergerak: Masa depan kedudukan penting militer Pendahuluan Teori dan praktek pemerintahan modern di negara-negara Barat menyebutkan bahwa pemerintahan yang baik adalah suatu bentuk pemerintahan sipil (rakyat) yang melakukan kontrol atas militer. Di negara-negara komunis pun, partai politik diharapkan memegang kontrol sementara pihak militer menuruti komando sambil tetap berpegang [...]

Memprioritaskan Reformasi Pertanian di Myanmar

Memprioritaskan Reformasi Pertanian di Myanmar Sektor pertanian di Myanmar telah lama ditekan oleh kebijakan politik pemerintah yang buruk dan mengekang, minimnya kredit, infrastuktur dengan jumlah yang tidak memadai dan kondisi yang semakin memburuk, dan tidak adanya jaminan atas kepemilikan tanah dan berbagai hak atasnya. Masalah-masalah ini menjadi penyebab kemiskinan yang merupakan [...]

変動するミャンマー :軍事的栄光の行方

変動するミャンマー :軍事的栄光の行方 序  近代西洋の統治理論と実践は、良き政府を軍部が文民統制の下に置かれた政府と規定する。共産主義諸国でさえ、党が主導権を握り、軍部がこれに忠実に従って国家のイデオロギーを、たとえそれが現実よりも虚構に近い場合であっても順守する。 [...]

การประเมินนโยบาย “เปิดกว้าง” ของพม่า

การประเมินนโยบาย “เปิดกว้าง” ของพม่า การประกาศใช้การปฏิรูปทางการเมืองและเศรษฐกิจแบบกว้างๆ โดยประธานาธิบดีเต็ง  เส่ง (Thein Sein) ของพม่าเมื่อ ค.ศ.2011 [...]

พัฒนาการในพม่า: อนาคตของความยิ่งใหญ่ของกองทัพ

พัฒนาการในพม่า: อนาคตของความยิ่งใหญ่ของกองทัพ ทฤษฎีและหลักปฏิบัติเกี่ยวกับการปกครองแบบตะวันตกสมัยใหม่ได้กำหนดเงื่อนไขของการเป็น [...]

REVIEW: Myanma no Kuni to Tami, Nichimen Hikaku Sonraku Syakairon no Kokoromi

 Myanma no Kuni to Tami: Nichimen Hikaku Sonraku Syakairon no Kokoromi  (『ミャンマーの国と民―日緬比較村落社会論の試み―』)(State and People in Myanmar: A Comparative Study of Rural Societies in Japan and Myanmar)By Akio Takahashi. Tokyo: Akashi Shoten, 2012 This book focuses on rural society in Myanmar. While the new government of Myanmar has attracted public [...]

The Overseas Chinese Question in Sino-Burmese Relations Viewed from Declassified Documents of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The overseas Chinese question is an important theme in the relations between China and Southeast Asian countries during the Cold War. Although China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs declassified relevant documents from the 1950s in January 2004 and May 2006, Chinese scholars in the field of overseas Chinese and Southeast Asian studies have not made good use of them. This essay, based on the newly [...]

Guns and Gas in Southeast Asia: Transnational Flows in the Burma-Bangladesh Borderland

The Burma-Bangladesh borderland? 1 At first sight, this seems to be one of the world’s most marginal places. In the current global power scheme, neither Burma (Myanmar) nor Bangladesh is of much concern. The margins of these societies, and what happens there, have little world media appeal. In the national media in Burma and Bangladesh, the borderland that joins them is rarely put in the [...]

The Writing on the Wall: Marking the Limits of Ethnicity on China’s Borders

Adapted from Song and Silence: Ethnic Revival on China’s Southwest Borders by Sara L. M. Davis. Copyright (c) 2005 Columbia University Press. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher. The teak pillars that held up the eaves of the high temple roof outside had begun to bend and bow under its weight. Inside, the main hall of the temple was a dark forest of red lacquered pillars and handmade [...]

Book Review: Making Enemies: War and State Building in Burma

Making Enemies: War and State Building in BurmaMary P. Callahan Ithaca, NY / Cornell University Press / 2004 Singapore / Singapore University Press / 2004 Why would anyone, in this age of terror and unfettered global trade, take a keen interest in the politics of Burma (or Myanmar, as the junta has renamed the country)? Even among neighbors, Burma is neither here nor there, having one foot in [...]

Book Review: The Glass Palace

The Glass PalaceAmitav GhoshNew York / Random House / 2002 (paper)London / HarperCollins UK / 2000 (cloth) Booming sounds break into the lives of people at a food stall in Mandalay. Such jarring noise was unfamiliar and bewildering to the people of the royal capital in the interior of Burma in the 1880s. Rajkumar, however, a poor eleven-year-old Indian boy, recognized it right away: “‘English [...]
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