This new edition of Myanmar: Politics, Economy and Society provides a sophisticated yet accessible overview of the key political, economic and social challenges facing contemporary Myanmar and explains the complex historical and ethnic dynamics that have shaped the country.

Thoroughly revised, the book analyses the context and tragic consequences of the military coup in February 2021 and the COVID-19 pandemic. With clear and incisive contributions from the world’s leading Myanmar scholars, this book assesses the policies and political reforms that have provoked contestation in Myanmar’s recent history and driven both economic and social change. In this context, questions of economic ownership and control and the distribution of natural resources are shown to be deeply informed by long-standing fractures among ethnic and civil-military relations. The chapters analyse the key issues that constrain or expedite societal development in Myanmar and place recent events of national and international significance in the context of its complex history and social relations. The book provides detailed analysis of the coup, which overturned a decade of political and economic reforms and threw the country into chaos. It explains the drivers for the coup, how it has impacted on the country and the future prospects for accountability and justice.

Filling a gap in the market, this research textbook and primer will be of interest to upper undergraduates, postgraduates and scholars of Southeast Asian politics, economics and society and to journalists and professionals working within governments, companies and other organisations.

The Open Access version of this book, available at https://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

chapter 2|13 pages

Déjà Vu All Over Again

The 2021 Coup in Historical Perspective
Size: 0.37 MB

part 1|77 pages


chapter 3|15 pages

Ethnic Politics

Diversity and Agency Amidst Persistent Violence
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chapter 4|14 pages

The Military

Institution and Politics
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Size: 0.43 MB

chapter 6|16 pages

Democracy and Human Rights under Military Rule

Three Iterations of Myanmar's National Security State
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chapter 7|15 pages

Foreign and Diplomatic (Dis)Engagement

Military Priorities, Strategic Realities, and Contested Legitimacies
Size: 0.38 MB

part 2|66 pages


chapter 8|15 pages

Political Regimes and Economic Policy

Isolation, Consolidation, Reintegration and Rupture
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chapter 10|18 pages

Natural Resource Governance and the Environment

Unconstrained Exploitation Under Authoritarianism
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chapter 11|16 pages

Industrial Policy and Special Economic Zones

Engaging Transformation in a Globalised World
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part 3|132 pages


chapter 12|16 pages

Art and Heritage

Creating and Preserving Cultural Histories
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chapter 13|16 pages

Public Health

State and Non-State Systems in a Changing Society
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chapter 14|13 pages


Reforms Undone
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chapter 15|17 pages

Women in Myanmar

Change and Continuity
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chapter 16|15 pages

Myanmar's Contested Borderlands

Centre-Periphery Power Relations and Fragmented Sovereignty
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chapter 17|16 pages

Ethnicity, Culture and Religion

Centralisation, Burmanisation and Social Transformation
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chapter 18|16 pages

Journalism and Free Speech

Freedom and Fear
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chapter 19|21 pages

Myanmar's Complex and Intersecting Crises

Pathways to Accountability and International Justice
Size: 0.47 MB