Myanmar Studies

Among the first of its kind to be established in Southeast Asia (and in Singapore), the Myanmar Studies Programme’s ambit is on policy-oriented research pertaining to the reforms taking place in Myanmar, and the emerging issues and trends in the country’s transition to democracy. Through research, seminars, conferences, consultations and publications – undertaken individually or in partnership with other like-minded entities – the Myanmar Studies Programme (MmSP) seeks to give a critical analysis (and policy-relevant recommendations) on issues and events in Myanmar.

In support of ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute’s mission, the Myanmar Studies Programme studies the socio-political, security and economic trends and developments in Myanmar. The Myanmar Studies Programme seeks to be an intellectual resource for scholars and policy-makers interested in Myanmar. To this end, the MmSP devotes its research primarily to analysing recent developments and events in Myanmar, so that views, perspectives and recommendations generated from this research can be readily used by all those interested in and following #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar. The programme also seeks to build and maintain collaborative links with academics, analysts, researchers and centres studying Myanmar.

The Myanmar Studies Programme team’s current research projects include:

Developments Following the 1 February 2021 Coup

1. The programme has an ongoing webinar series analysing the impact of the coup:

2. Scholars and researchers have contributed their analyses of different aspects of the coup:

3. Commentaries by MmSP researchers on the coup have appeared on the ISEAS Fulcrum blog since 2 February 2021:

The State Administration Council Regime

A research paper series by Htet Myet Min Tun, Moe Thuzar and Michael Montesano assesses:

Aid to and Investment in Myanmar after the 1 February Coup

  • A research paper series is forthcoming.

Myanmar’s Foreign Relations

  • Webinars and research papers will be forthcoming.


Programme Coordinators

Ms Moe Thuzar is the Coordinator of the Myanmar Studies Programme.

Current Researchers and Affiliates

Past Affiliates

ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute also hosts researchers and scholars who work on Myanmar. Among those previously affiliated with the Institute are the following:

  • Professor Robert H. Taylor
  • Associate Professor Sean Turnell
  • Associate Professor Fan Hongwei
  • Mr Lex Reiffel
  • Dr Renaud Egreteau
  • Mr Thaung Tun
  • Mr Myint Soe
  • Mr Stuart Larkin
  • Dr Jurgen Haacke
  • Dr Maung Aung Myoe
  • Dr Amporn Jirattikorn
  • Dr Micah Francis Morton
  • Dr Lin Htet Aung
  • U Ye Htut
  • Dr Nyi Nyi Kyaw
  • Dr Ong Wai Hoong Andrew
  • Dr Michael J. Montesano
  • Mr Wai Moe
  • Mr Aung Tun

Webinars and Conferences

For upcoming MmSP events, please check the events section of the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute website.

Past conferences and key events organised by the programme include the following:

Myanmar Forum 2016

ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute partnered with University of Michigan’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies for the Myanmar Forum which was held on Friday, 20 May 2016. Myanmar country specialists, business and government practitioners and an international audience of public and private sector actors interested in Myanmar’s development, participated in the Forum.


The highlight of the Forum was a dialogue session with U Ko Ko Gyi, General Secretary of the 88 Generation (Peace and Open Society) which is a highly respected political organization born out of the student-led democracy protests of 1988. U Ko Ko Gyi is a Burmese politician, democracy activist and former prisoner of conscience.

More than 150 participants attended the Myanmar Forum 2016.

For more information, please click here.


International Burma Studies Conference 2014

ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, together with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Centre for Asian Legal Studies of the National University of Singapore organised the International Burma Studies Conference 2014 on “Envisioning Myanmar: Issues, Images, Identities” from the 1st to the 3rd August 2014. This theme has attracted a diverse collection of panels and papers from across the humanities and social sciences, as well as from the fields of law, policy, development, media, civil society and other professional fields.

Our ongoing collaboration with international partners, especially the Center for Burma Studies (based at Northern Illinois University, USA) and the Burma Studies Group of the Association of Asian Studies has enabled us to bring together scholars from Asia, Europe, Australia and North America. Most importantly, we were able to host a number of special guests from Myanmar who spoke at the Plenary and Closing Sessions.

To find out more about IBSC 2014 or access the panel abstracts, click here. To view photos of IBSC 2014, click here.