After decades of military rule and civil war, Myanmar has embarked on a comprehensive transition towards democracy, market economy and sustainable peace. While much has been achieved in terms of opening up political and economic life, the transition remains neither complete, nor ensured. The early optimism and high hopes are increasingly giving way to concerns over the inclusiveness of the process and the extent to which reforms will benefit all groups in society, including ethnic and religious minorities.
Focusing on the conflicted politics of identity and change in Myanmar, this seminar zooms in on two distinct processes: the recent rise of communal violence and anti-Muslim sentiments, especially but not exclusively in Rakhine State; and the peace negotiations aimed at settling the decade-long armed conflicts between the military and ethnic armed organizations. The seminar asks why violence remains a recurrent feature of everyday political life in Myanmar and explores – with a particular focus on the youth – the prospects and promises of peaceful and inclusive development in Myanmar.
Nick Cheesman, Fellow, Department of Political & Social Change, Australian National University.
Gerard McCarthy, Associate Director, Myanmar Research Centre, and Doctoral Fellow, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University.
Justine Chambers, Associate Director, Myanmar Research Centre, and Doctoral Fellow, Department of Anthropology, Australian National University.
Mikael Gravers, Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, Aarhus University.
Helene Maria Kyed, Senior Researcher, DIIS.
Louise Riis Andersen, Senior Researcher, DIIS.
13.00 -13.10: Welcome and introduction - Louise Riis Andersen
13.10-14.30: First Panel: Communal violence in Myanmar:
Conflicts and violence in Myanmar – the role of ethnicity, religion and nationalism - Mikael Gravers.
Revisiting Myanmar's 2012-14 communal violence - Nick Cheesman.
The rise of anti-Muslim hate speech in Myanmar - Gerard McCarthy.
14.30-15.00: Coffee break
15.00-15.40: Second Panel: Myanmar in transition
The Myanmar peace process and the promise of reform - Helene Maria Kyed.
Coming of age in the Myanmar transition: hopes and aspirations of the youth in Hpa-An - Justine Chambers.
15.40-16.30: Panel discussion and Q&A - Louise Riis Andersen
The seminar will be in English and livestreamed on diis.dk.
Participation is free of charge, but registration is required. Please use our online registration form no later than Monday 21 August 2017 at 12.00 noon. Livestream does not require registration.