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Asiatische Studien - Études Asiatiques

Zeitschrift der Schweizerischen Asiengesellschaft - Revue de la Société Suisse-Asie

Editor-in-Chief: Suter, Rafael

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Protest und Demokratisierung in Myanmar: Erste Erkenntnisse aus dem „Myanmar Protest Event Dataset“

Andy Buschmann
Published Online: 2018-01-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/asia-2017-0064


Myanmar has been perceived to be in a sociopolitical and economic transition since the semi-civilian government under President Thein Sein took office in 2011. Amongst other things, for a representative democracy to function, citizens have to have the freedom to express their opinions and deliberate them with fellow citizens. This requires the secure granting of fundamental civil liberties, as prescribed in the freedom of expression, association, and assembly. Hence, once in the process of democratization, a formerly authoritarian state has to make significant improvements in the granting and protection of these rights too. To empirically test whether Myanmar has made such improvements since 2011 is the goal of a greater research project I am working on. This research note introduces the project and summarizes first findings. By combining knowledge on legal reforms and protest data from the Myanmar Protest Event Dataset, it is suggested that, in Myanmar, the de jure exercisability and de facto exercise of fundamental civil liberties have significantly improved from 2011 to 2015. Informal methods of suppressing the right to protest, such as arbitrary violence, have increasingly descended while methods that are formally in accordance with the rule of law but still lack compliance with international human rights standards have ascended.

Keywords: Myanmar; protest; civil liberties; democratization; political transition; civil society


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-01-09

Published in Print: 2018-04-25

Citation Information: Asiatische Studien - Études Asiatiques, Volume 72, Issue 1, Pages 295–304, ISSN (Online) 2235-5871, ISSN (Print) 0004-4717, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/asia-2017-0064.

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