Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy swept Burma’s November 2015 elections. Will the new NLD-led government be able to live up to high expectations that it will deliver better governance, national reconciliation, and some form of federalism?
What does public opinion tell us about Burma’s longer-term prospects for democracy? The Asian Barometer Survey reveals contradictory attitudes regarding democracy and democratic values among the citizens of Burma.
Burma’s troubled transition is imperiled by the reluctance of the military to loosen its grip. What lessons can the Burmese learn from other East Asian countries that have emerged from military rule?
Elections alone will not answer the question of how to build a lasting democracy. Minority rights also must be protected.
Although active or retired military officers still hold top government posts, direct rule by the military as an institution is over, at least for now.
The Burmese transition that began in 2011 will be a protracted process. The main challenge now is to build a state in which democracy can take root and grow.
The hardest work of the transition—negotiating political pacts—has not yet begun. Burma’s democrats must help to forge a system of mutual security that can allow democratization to proceed.
For the country to develop, it needs an informed and engaged citizenry that has the knowledge and freedom to question those in power.
A review of The Lady and the Peacock: The Life of Aung San Suu Kyi by Peter Popham.