Neighbourhood Effects of Borderland State Consolidation: Evidence from Myanmar and Its Neighbours



About the Seminar


This seminar addresses the process of state consolidation, or its failure, in Myanmar’s borderland areas. Differentiating between the country’s eastern borders with China and Thailand and its western borders with Bangladesh and India, the seminar will empirically examine the making of Myanmar’s stateless borderlands, focusing on variations in relative power and the nature of relations between the country and its neighbours since the end of the Second World War. It will discuss in detail the active meddling of Thailand, Taiwan, and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Burma’s domestic politics through support for insurgencies in its borderland areas during the Cold War. It will then examine contemporary China’s and Thailand’s economic dominance of borderland areas in the post-Cold War period, when both countries’ relations with Myanmar have been mostly amicable. Finally, the speaker will offer a contrasting case study of Myanmar’s frontiers with Bangladesh and India, where all three countries have had similar problems in consolidating their respective borderland areas. Because of the relative power parity among them, whether shared borderlands became militarized or were neglected has been dependent on the changing nature of the bilateral relations that Myanmar has enjoyed with India and Bangladesh during the past few decades.

About the Speaker

Enze Han is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong. His research interests include ethnic politics in China, China’s relations with Southeast Asia (especially  Myanmar and Thailand), and the politics of state formation in the borderland area between China, Myanmar and Thailand.  Dr Han received his doctorate from the George Washington University, and he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the China and the World Program of Princeton University. During 2015-2016, he was a member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and, in 2017, a fellow at the East Asia Institute in Seoul. His research has been supported by the Leverhulme Research Fellowship and the British Council/Newton Fund. Dr Han was formerly Senior Lecturer in the International Security of East Asia at SOAS, University of London.


For registration, please fill in this form and email to by 12 November 2018.


Nov 13 2018


10:00 am - 11:30 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2