Seminar: Abode of Kings: Naypyitaw and the Politics of Reform
ABOUT THE SEMINAR
Naypyitaw has been Myanmar’s capital for the past decade. Carved out of scrubland and paddy fields, and built on a grandiose scale, the city has proved hard for most people to love. Even now that the National League for Democracy has power, Naypyitaw is commonly dismissed as a bizarre addition to the Myanmar landscape. In this presentation, Dr Nicholas Farrelly will offer an up-close appraisal of the city and its people. His analysis of Naypyitaw’s purpose and politics draws on substantial, long-term field research. Dr Farrelly has taken the time to understand the many dimensions of the city and will sketch out how its evolving role fits the trajectory of Myanmar’s reforms. Through a better understanding of Naypyitaw, other aspects of Myanmar’s rapidly changing political, economic and cultural environment can also be explained.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Dr Nicholas Farrelly is a Fellow in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University, where he is also Director of the Myanmar Research Centre. After graduating from the ANU with First Class Honours and the University Medal, he completed Masters and Doctoral theses at the University of Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar. In 2006, Nicholas co-founded New Mandala, a prominent website on Southeast Asian affairs. He currently holds an Australian Research Council fellowship for a major study of political change in Myanmar, especially in Naypyitaw. Nicholas also writes a weekly newspaper column for The Myanmar Times.