The Elgar Companion to Post-Conflict Transition
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The Elgar Companion to Post-Conflict Transition

Edited by Hans-Joachim Giessmann, Roger Mac Ginty, Beatrix Austin and Christine Seifert

What are the main drivers of political transition and regime change? And to what extent do these apparently seismic political changes result in real change? These questions are the focus of this comparative study written by a mix of scholars and practitioners. This state-of-the-art volume identifies patterns in political transitions, but is largely unconvinced that these transitions bring about real change to the underlying structures of society. Patriarchy, land tenure, and economic systems often remain immune to change, despite the headlines.
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Chapter 13: Myanmar

Stefano Ruzza and Giuseppe Gabusi

Abstract

Myanmar has been a tightly closed military autocracy since 1962, and hence its recent political transition may look sudden and spectacular. Apparently, the military junta finally conceded to longstanding popular demands for a democratic turn, conceding elections which were won by Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy. But has the junta really conceded to popular demand? And has the change actually been so sudden? This chapter challenges these assumptions by employing Samuel Huntington “third wave democratization” framework. It looks at deep-rooted and proximate factors that allowed for political change, showing how the process of political transformation has been mostly top-down, written and directed by the military elite, and slow-running from 1988 to now.

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