The Opening in Burma: The Generals Loosen Their Grip

Issue Date October 2012
Volume 23
Issue 4
Page Numbers 120-131
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From 1988 to 2011, Burmese citizens lived under de facto martial law. Now Burma is in the midst of a political transition whose contours suggest that the country’s political future is “up for grabs” to a greater degree than has been so for at least the last half-century. The post-junta constitutional government has created a realm for potentially contentious politics outside the old “national security” limitations, but the durability of political liberalization will depend upon how military leaders of both the government’s army and its armed challengers manage the detritus of decades of failed military truces and unimaginative—on all sides—peace building.

About the Author

Mary Callahan is associate professor in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. She is the author of Making Enemies: War and State Building in Burma (2003) and Political Authority in Burma’s Ethnic Minority States: Devolution, Occupation and Coexistence (2007).

View all work by Mary Callahan