The Capital

Nicholas Farrelly

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Naypyitaw was built five hours' drive north of the former capital, Yangon, as a new physical, political and symbolic centre for Myanmar. Its original goal was to secure the system of authoritarian rule that was, at that time, under sustained pressure from ethnic armies and democratic activists. The colonial city of Yangon had long been judged an inadequate showcase for the glories of the Myanmar military and its leading decision-makers. Naypyitaw only makes sense if its monumentalist ambition is put in a deep historical context. For Myanmar's former military ruler the over-riding purpose of government was to build a proud nation, independent and unique. Naypyitaw was designed for the convenience of government and to showcase Myanmar's potency. Its more specific purpose is to manage the incomplete transition from long-term military rule towards, in the medium term, a managed form of democracy. Away from the comfortable life enjoyed by Union Assembly members, Naypyitaw is developing a distinctively middle-class economic orientation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Contemporary Myanmar
    Editors Adam Simpson, Nicholas Farrelly, Ian Holliday
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherRoutledge Taylor and Francis Group
    Edition1st edition
    ISBN (Print)9781138820777
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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