Myanmar Ten Months After The Coup


The period since the 1 February 2021 coup in Myanmar has now passed the ten-month mark. The military’s seizure of power and its aftermath illustrate both a series of miscalculations on the part of the generals who deposed Myanmar’s elected government and the extent of public resistance to their coup. The military’s repressive measures against protestors have escalated in brutality and scope since February, provoking measures for self-defense from the public. A broad structure for this public resistance has also emerged, with elected lawmakers forming the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, developing and proclaiming a Federal Democracy Charter, and appointing an interim National Unity Government (NUG). The NUG announced a “people’s defensive war” in September. A National Unity Consultative Council comprising representatives of ethnic nationality groups, civil society organisations and the civil disobedience movement has recently been launched. There has also been a steady trickle of defections from the military. These developments indicate different turns in Myanmar’s current crisis, in which the military and the anti-coup protestors both seek to shape the outcome. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is also making efforts to steer the situation towards a constructive outcome following its agreement on Five-Point Consensus in April.

Ten months after the coup, the ultimate outcome of the Myanmar crisis seems still uncertain, with no clear “tipping point” in favour of either side in evidence. In this webinar, we revisit with Professor Ardeth Maung Thawnhmung the nine possible future scenarios for Myanmar that she first sketched out in March, with a focus on changes in potential paths for Myanmar that have arisen since then.

About the Speaker

Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung is Professor in and Chair of the Department of Political Science Department, University of Massachusetts at Lowell. She completed her doctorate in the same field at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A member of the U Mass Lowell faculty since 2004, she teaches international relations, Southeast Asian politics, ethnic conflict, democracy and democratization, and political economy. She has published four books and numerous articles on Southeast Asia and Myanmar and received fellowships from the Fulbright program, the Australian National University, the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore, the East-West Center in Washington, and ISEAS. Her most recent book is Everyday Economic Survival in Myanmar (University of Wisconsin 2019). Her forthcoming co-authored book, Winning by Process: The State and Neutralization of Ethnic Minorities in Myanmar (Cornell University Press, 2022) is a collaboration with Jacques Bertrand (U of Toronto) and Alexandre Pelletier (Cornell). Ardeth’s current research is on citizens’ responses to multiple crises in Myanmar.


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Dec 17 2021


9:00 am - 10:15 am