Seminar: Democratizing Myanmar’s National Security State
About the Seminar
The reforms of the past five years in Myanmar have often been described as surprising or insincere. Yet, by considering the nature of the military-led state that was established in the 1950-60s and has changed little since, we may discover that they are neither. The conceptualisation of the Myanmar state as a National Security State charts a middle ground in the highly polarized debates about Myanmar’s recent past, present and future by focusing sharply on the military core of the state and the significance of the Tatmadaw’s corporate interests, values and worldviews. Importantly, it offers both hope and some clear warnings for the country’s democrats and their well-wishers abroad.
About the Speaker
Dr Morten Pedersen is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of New South Wales Canberra (Australian Defence Force Academy). He previously spent six years in Myanmar with the International Crisis Group and has worked as a policy advisor also for the United Nations, the World Bank and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari. His major publications include Promoting Human Rights in Burma: A Critique of Western Sanctions Policies (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008); with Anna Magnusson, A Good Office: Twenty Years of UN Mediation in Myanmar (International Peace Institute, 2012); and Democratising Myanmar’s National Security State (East-West Center, forthcoming).