Communal Conflict in Myanmar: The Legislature's Response, 2012-2015

Chit Win, Thomas Kean

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    From 2011 Myanmar's nascent legislature quickly became a symbol of the country's transition from military rule by exhibiting its autonomy and by sometimes acting as a check on the executive. While expectations grew that it would play a significant role in the transition from military to quasi-civilian rule, including managing ethnic conflicts, its reluctance to tackle sectarian violence represented a major setback for the legislature's credibility. Using legislative records and interviews, this article provides a detailed empirical study of how Myanmar's legislature and its lawmakers responded to these ethnic conflicts, both inside and outside the chamber. Building on studies of the role of legislatures in conflict management, this article argues that while Myanmar's legislature could have responded more proactively, at the very least it prevented itself from becoming a forum for populist politics that could have further inflamed tensions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)413-439
    JournalJournal of Contemporary Asia
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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