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Myanmar's search for normalcy in an abnormal world

Arnold, Matthew B. (2020) Myanmar's search for normalcy in an abnormal world. Strategic Updates (November 2020). LSE IDEAS, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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For much of the past seventy-plus years since its independence, Myanmar, often known as Burma, was an isolated military dictatorship plagued by seemingly perpetual civil war. Myanmar’s evolution from military dictatorship began in 2010 when a wide-ranging reform process began. While much has changed in the years since, much has not. Myanmar’s transition can best be understood as a “search for normalcy.” Since 2010, the sheer extent of the country’s dysfunction after decades of military dictatorship has overshadowed prospects for change as has the mass exodus of Rohingya in 2017 after a brutal campaign by the military. Amid these quandaries, it is useful to focus on what is feasible for the country in terms of transitioning to what can be understood as “normal”, or at least on a trajectory towards “normalization”. Framing Myanmar’s domestic prospects is also the reality that the last decade has been distinctly abnormal for the whole world. Reform in Myanmar means working methodically to untangle the messy, convoluted knot that is Myanmar’s governance, politics, and economics and being patient throughout the process. All things considered, Myanmar is progressing in important ways that should neither be taken for granted nor forgotten.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: IGA: LSE IDEAS
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2020 10:24
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:51

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