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Monday, 21 July 2014

Democracy Movement in Myanmar: Problems and Challenges

Title: Democracy Movement in Myanmar: Problems and Challenges
Author: Nehginpao Kipgen
Foreword: Priscilla Clapp, Senior Advisor to the Asia Society and former U.S. Charge d’Affaires in Burma
ISBN: 978-93-82395-62-1
First Edition: 2014
Language: English
Binding: Hard Cover

About the Author
Nehginpao Kipgen is a political scientist whose general research interests include democratization, democratic transition, human rights, ethnic conflict, identity politics, and foreign policy. His academic research focuses on the politics of South and Southeast Asia, with specialization on Burma/Myanmar. He has published peer-reviewed academic articles in World Affairs, Journal of Asian and African Studies, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Ethnopolitics, Strategic Analysis, South Asia Research, Indian Journal of Political Science, Economic and Political Weekly, and Asian Profile. He has also published over 100 articles in various leading international newspapers and magazines in five continents - Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and North America.

About the Book:
The book provides an in-depth analysis of Myanmar’s (also known as Burma) political history since independence. The book will help academics and scholars who have teaching and research interests on Myanmar to understand how different political actors played differing roles in the country’s transition from one form of government to another. The book is also a helpful resource for general readers to understand the complexity of Myanmar’s problems. The concept and structure of the book does not center around one theoretical framework nor does it attempt to answer a specific question. It intends to help readers understand comprehensively about Myanmar’s problems and challenges in domestic politics as well as international relations.

Though the country is known to the international community as Myanmar or Burma, the book, except for direct quotations and the period prior to 1989, uses Myanmar, which is officially used by the Myanmar government as well as the United Nations. Myanmar was formerly known as Burma. It was renamed by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) military government in 1989. Many in the Myanmar opposition groups, the expatriates, and some Western countries continue to use Burma. Some people argue that Burma should still be used since it was an undemocratic military government which changed the name without the consent of the people. There is no fundamental difference between the two names, since both still refer to one group of people, that is, Bama or Burman, the single largest ethnic group in the country. Some argue that the name change should only happen if a democratically elected government decides to do so with majority approval in the parliament. Some also say that the term Burma is easier to pronounce and remember than Myanmar.

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