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Discipline without democracy: military dominance in post-colonial Burma1


Farrelly, N, Discipline without democracy: military dominance in post-colonial Burma1, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 67, (3) pp. 312-326. ISSN 1035-7718 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Australian Institute of International Affair

DOI: doi:10.1080/10357718.2013.788122


After five decades in which military dominance defined post-colonial politics, Burma has recently embarked on a long-delayed process of political reform. The gradual democratisation of the country's political institutions has meant that the history of its two twentieth-century coups is increasingly overlooked. This article presents a focused study of military interventionism in Burma and offers explanations for the successful entrenchment of military rule. The mindset of the military leadership and its success at sidelining opponents is explored alongside a preliminary consideration of the role that international support has played. Crucially, military leaders have been exasperated by what they consider feeble (and foreign-controlled) civilian authorities that have been incapable of preventing national fragmentation. This mindset, plus effective repression and support by neighbouring countries such as China, formed the basis of the military's rule. Therefore, the prospects of future democratisation efforts will rely on a fuller understanding of the processes that led the armed forces to exert consistent dominance.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Burma, coups, democratisation, military, Myanmar
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:145385
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:18
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2021-07-20
Last Modified:2021-09-08

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