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Beyond electoral authoritarianism in transitional Myanmar


Farrelly, N, Beyond electoral authoritarianism in transitional Myanmar, European Journal of East Asian Studies, 14, (1) pp. 15-31. ISSN 1568-0584 (2015) [Refereed Article]

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This article reassesses notions of 'electoral authoritarianism' as applied to the changed political terrain in Myanmar. It examines the various mechanisms through which the lingering influences of earlier political contestation are being integrated into transitional Myanmar's public and social life. While the evolving Myanmar system is inevitably informed by the dictatorial experience there is a new effort to embrace countercurrents in the shift away from long-term military rule. The argument is that the transitional system mobilises key elements and personnel from the dictatorial period alongside growing opportunities for those who most actively opposed the military dictatorship, including in the pivotal 1988 period. The paradox of political culture under these arrangements means that the notion of a stable electorally authoritarian model needs careful reappraisal. Such stability has been replaced by an appreciation that incremental liberalisation and gradually increasing participation can help to change an entrenched political order. The efforts of the transitional government (2011 to 2015) to implement changes to the economy, the political system and the wider social situation have ensured that creeping reform has become the new norm in a post-authoritarian system where compromise had previously been hard to find.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Myanmar, democratisation, political reform, transition
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Government and politics of Asia and the Pacific
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:International relations
Objective Field:International political economy (excl. international trade)
UTAS Author:Farrelly, N (Professor Nicholas Farrelly)
ID Code:145284
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2021-07-14
Last Modified:2021-10-01

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