Hope, Despair and the New Normal in Myanmar

*This article first appeared in The Interpreter on 9 May 2019.  Human rights advocates had a rare chance to celebrate yesterday as two local Reuters journalists were released from prison. Their situation is viewed by the international community as a test case of the political reform process in Myanmar. The case is a remind of the mixedContinue reading “Hope, Despair and the New Normal in Myanmar”

Law & Society Association book panel

At the upcoming Law & Society Association Conference, there will be a book session on “The Constitution of Myanmar: A Contextual Analysis”. The panel includes: Chair, Dr Nick Cheesman, ANU Prof Tom Ginsburg, Chicago – Myanmar in the Context of Comparative Constitutional Law scholarship Maryam Khan, Wisconsin – Myanmar in the Context of Scholarship onContinue reading “Law & Society Association book panel”

Renewed calls for constitutional change in Myanmar’s ‘military-state’

*This article first appeared in The East Asia Forum, 13 March 2019 and can be accessed here. Constitutional change was a 2015 election campaign promise of Myanmar’s National League for Democracy (NLD) and Aung San Suu Kyi. As the 2020 elections loom large, they are now revisiting the proposal to recapture the attention and support of the people.Continue reading “Renewed calls for constitutional change in Myanmar’s ‘military-state’”

The Death Penalty Paradox in Buddhist Myanmar

*This article first appeared in The Interpreter, 15 March 2019, and is available here. On my recent visit to Myanmar, I attended the commemoration ceremony of U Ko Ni, the former lawyer and legal advisor to the National League for Democracy. He was among the most vocal advocate for constitutional change in Myanmar. His death and the court case againstContinue reading “The Death Penalty Paradox in Buddhist Myanmar”

Paperback now available: The Business of Transition

Cambridge University Press has recently published the paperback version of The Business of Transition: Law Reform, Development and Economics in Myanmar.This interdisciplinary volume offers a timely reflection on law, development and economics through empirical and comparative perspectives on contemporary Myanmar. The book explores the business that takes place in times of major political change through lawContinue reading “Paperback now available: The Business of Transition”

UNSW Myanmar Research and Development Dialogue

From 4-8 February 2019 a group of academics affiliated with UNSW’s Institute for Global Development will be visiting Myanmar. The purpose of is to run a series of events and visits that facilitate dialogue on research and development between academics and local and international development actors. This includes a Research and Development Dialogue Workshop on Tuesday 5th February,Continue reading “UNSW Myanmar Research and Development Dialogue”

Myanmar’s press freedom mirage

Note: This article was first published on 20 November 2018 at The Interpreter here. It has been a bad year for press freedom across Southeast Asia. Myanmar has been no exception. Media freedom fell to new lows this month as a self-proclaimed anti-Rohingya supporter, American Rick Heizman, was welcomed with open arms in Myanmar. Heizman, a little-known musician andContinue reading “Myanmar’s press freedom mirage”

Elections a sham in Rakhine State

Note: This article was first published here at The Interpreter (Lowy Institute) on 1 November 2018 People go to the polls on Saturday in Myanmar, or at least some of them do. On 3 November 2018, the Union Election Commission will coordinate by-elections across 13 electorates. Most are to fill seats from vacancies due to deaths of senior membersContinue reading “Elections a sham in Rakhine State”

Political Parties and State Transformation in Myanmar

From 10-11th November, a conference will be held in Yangon on “Shaping Past, Present and Future: Political Parties and State Transformation in Myanmar”. The conference is jointly organised by Initiative Austausch e.V., the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation and the German Institute of Global and Area Studies. I will be giving a talk on: “The Union Parliament, Political Parties andContinue reading “Political Parties and State Transformation in Myanmar”

Ethno-Religious Nationalism and Authoritarianism in Southeast Asia

On 25 October 2018, The Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives at the University of Victoria is hosting a panel on Ethno-Religious Nationalism and Authoritarianism in Southeast Asia. The panel considers major flashpoints and key indicators for authoritarianism in Southeast Asia and the underlying societal conditions that have given rise to the political shifts we are witnessing inContinue reading “Ethno-Religious Nationalism and Authoritarianism in Southeast Asia”