Interpreting Myanmar

Interpreting Myanmar

A Decade of Analysis

Authored by: Andrew Selth
 

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Description

Since the abortive 1988 pro-democracy uprising, Myanmar (formerly Burma) has attracted increased attention from a wide range of observers. Yet, despite all the statements, publications and documentary films made about the country over the past 32 years, it is still little known and poorly understood. It remains the subject of many myths, mysteries and misconceptions. Between 2008 and 2019, Andrew Selth clarified and explained contemporary developments in Myanmar on the Lowy Institute’s internationally acclaimed blog, The Interpreter. This collection of his 97 articles provides a fascinating and informative record of that critical period, and helps to explain many issues that remain relevant today.

Details

ISBN (print):
9781760464042
ISBN (online):
9781760464059
Publication date:
Dec 2020
Imprint:
ANU Press
DOI:
http://doi.org/10.22459/IM.2020
Disciplines:
Business & Economics; Social Sciences: Development Studies, Military & Defence Studies, Politics & International Studies
Countries:
Southeast Asia: Burma/Myanmar

PDF Chapters

Interpreting Myanmar »

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The Interpreter posts, 2008–2019

2008

  1. Burma: The limits of international action (12:48 AEDT, 7 April 2008) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  2. A storm of protest over Burma (14:47 AEDT, 9 May 2008) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  3. Burma’s continuing fear of invasion (11:09 AEDT, 28 May 2008) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  4. Burma’s armed forces: How loyal? (11:08 AEDT, 6 June 2008) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  5. The Rambo approach to Burma (10:37 AEDT, 20 June 2008) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  6. Burma and the Bush White House (10:11 AEDT, 26 August 2008) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  7. Burma’s opposition movement: A house divided (07:43 AEDT, 25 November 2008) (PDF, 0.1MB)

2009

  1. Is there a Burma–North Korea–Iran nuclear conspiracy? (07:26 AEDT, 25 February 2009) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  2. US–Burma: Where to from here? (14:09 AEDT, 28 April 2009) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  3. US–Burma relations: Told you so (15:37 AEDT, 18 May 2009) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  4. Conspiracies and cockups in Burma (11:13 AEDT, 26 May 2009) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  5. Burma: ‘Nationalism is not rationalism’ (10:23 AEDT, 10 June 2009) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  6. Burma–North Korea: Rumour and reality (12:33 AEDT, 29 June 2009) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  7. Burma’s unanswered nuclear question (11:40 AEDT, 3 August 2009) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  8. Burma’s nuclear status: Not the last word, but … (09:24 AEDT, 29 September 2009) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  9. Burma’s ‘superstitious’ leaders (10:25 AEDT, 22 October 2009) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  10. Burma: Obama’s ‘pragmatic engagement’ (11:17 AEDT, 18 November 2009) (PDF, 0.1MB)

2010

  1. Burma: If not nukes, what about missiles? (10:53 AEDT, 11 January 2010) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  2. Burma’s new election laws (14:41 AEDT, 19 March 2010) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  3. Burma: Of arms and the man (17:16 AEDT, 6 April 2010) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  4. Burma, North Korea and US policy (14:59 AEDT, 18 May 2010) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  5. Does Burma have a WMD program? (11:02 AEDT, 7 June 2010) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  6. Burma, North Korea and WMD: A postscript (11:01 AEDT, 10 June 2010) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  7. Burma and the politics of names (13:51 AEDT, 12 July 2010) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  8. Burma: The beast in its entirety (12:08 AEDT, 27 July 2010) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  9. Burma: After the elections, what? (10:07 AEDT, 31 August 2010) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  10. Burma’s elections: Thirteen reasons (10:57 AEDT, 2 November 2010) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  11. Burma-watching on film (13:37 AEDT, 30 November 2010) (PDF, 0.1MB)

2011

  1. Burma: Thanks for the memoirs (15:45 AEDT, 11 January 2011) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  2. Burma and North Korea: Reality checks (15:00 AEDT, 27 April 2011) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  3. Burma and WMD: Lost in translation (11:57 AEDT, 19 May 2011) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  4. Burma and Libya: The politics of inconsistency (11:06 AEDT, 17 June 2011) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  5. Burma and ASEAN’s seat of yearning (11:26 AEDT, 14 September 2011) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  6. Burma–China: Another dam puzzle (Part 1) (12:46 AEDT, 1 November 2011) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  7. Burma–China: Another dam puzzle (Part 2) (16:51 AEDT, 1 November 2011) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  8. Aung San Suu Kyi’s choice (10:30 AEDT, 23 November 2011) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  9. Clinton in Burma: The WMD dimension (16:52 AEDT, 6 December 2011) (PDF, 0.1MB)

2012

  1. Assessing Burma’s reform program (15:04 AEDT, 24 January 2012) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  2. Burma’s reforms: Foreigners can’t take much credit (16:00 AEDT, 30 January 2012) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  3. Burma and WMD: Nothing to report? (08:23 AEDT, 29 March 2012) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  4. Kurt Campbell on US–Burma relations (12:08 AEDT, 27 April 2012) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  5. The Rangoon bombing: A historical footnote (10:11 AEDT, 16 May 2012) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  6. Burma and WMD: In the news again (15:48 AEDT, 1 August 2012) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  7. Burma, the Rohingyas and Australia (10:23 AEDT, 8 October 2012) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  8. Burma: The Man has met The Lady (09:57 AEDT, 23 November 2012 (PDF, 0.1MB)
  9. Burma’s police: The long road to reform (13:45 AEDT, 13 December 2012) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  10. Burma: Eyes on the prize (10:14 AEDT, 18 December 2012) (PDF, 0.1MB)

2013

  1. Defence relations with Burma: Our future past (12:08 AEDT, 4 March 2013) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  2. Burma’s fractious polity: The price of democracy? (11:32 AEDT, 14 March 2013) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  3. Burma’s Muslims: A primer (09:17 AEDT, 27 March 2013) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  4. Aung San Suu Kyi: A pilgrim’s progress (15:34 AEDT, 7 May 2013) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  5. Will Aung San Suu Kyi be President of Burma? (11:20 AEDT, 16 May 2013) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  6. Burma: Conspiracies and other theories (15:28 AEDT, 5 June 2013) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  7. Burma and North Korea: Again? Still (12:58 AEDT, 10 July 2013) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  8. West reaches out to Burma’s security sector (10:13 AEDT, 26 July 2013) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  9. Risk and reward with Burma’s security sector (13:26 AEDT, 26 July 2013) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  10. Burma: What chance another coup? (13:47 AEDT, 9 September 2013) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  11. Burma: Two WMD developments (16:41 AEDT, 8 October 2013) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  12. Aung San Suu Kyi’s risky strategy (15:07 AEDT, 30 October 2013) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  13. Bombings in Burma: The long view (12:33 AEDT, 11 November 2013) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  14. Australia and the Burma/Myanmar name debate (10:08 AEDT, 27 November 2013) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  15. When Aung San Suu Kyi comes to call (10:24 AEDT, 3 December 2013) (PDF, 0.1MB)

2014

  1. Burma puts its stamp on the world: Philately and foreign policy (09:02 AEDT, 7 January 2014) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  2. Myanmar becomes Burma, again (08:32 AEDT, 14 January 2014) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  3. Is Burma really buying submarines? (11:50 AEDT, 29 January 2014) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  4. Burma: A critical look at those chemical weapons claims (14:36 AEDT, 25 February 2014) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  5. Should Burma participate in UN peacekeeping? (10:19 AEDT, 13 May 2014) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  6. Will Aung San Suu Kyi be president? Odds are lengthening (09:05 AEDT, 30 June 2014) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  7. Burma and the Biological Weapons Convention (08:40 AEDT, 15 October 2014) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  8. Aung San Suu Kyi and Kipling’s Burma (10:00 AEDT, 31 October 2014) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  9. Aung San Suu Kyi’s aura is fading (15:10 AEDT, 18 November 2014) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  10. Myanmar Police Force needs more foreign help to reform (15:07 AEDT, 3 December 2014) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  11. Surveying public opinion in Burma (08:01 AEDT, 18 December 2014) (PDF, 0.1MB)

2015

  1. Second thoughts on the civil unrest in Burma (16:28 AEDT, 14 April 2015) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  2. Burma: The return of the ‘vigilantes’ (08:01 AEDT, 22 April 2015) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  3. Burma: Police reforms expand women’s roles (08:49 AEDT, 1 May 2015) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  4. Burma: Beware of unrealistic expectations (10:03 AEDT, 18 June 2015) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  5. Is Naypyidaw setting the agenda in US–China–Burma relations? (10:15 AEDT, 18 September 2015) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  6. Burma’s Tatmadaw: A force to be reckoned with (11:32 AEDT, 22 October 2015) (PDF, 0.2MB)
  7. All change: Election result may see another round of the Burma/Myanmar name game (08:35 AEDT, 18 November 2015) (PDF, 0.1MB)

2016

  1. The potential for army–police rivalry in Myanmar (10:40 AEDT, 2 February 2016) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  2. Democracy in Myanmar: Who can claim victory? (08:45 AEDT, 29 March 2016) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  3. Old Burma hands write on the ‘odd man out in Asia’ (12:40 AEDT, 6 June 2016) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  4. More name games in Burma/Myanmar (13:34 AEDT, 10 August 2016) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  5. Aung San Suu Kyi’s fall from grace (08:48 AEDT, 8 December 2016) (PDF, 0.1MB)

2017

  1. Myanmar and Aung San: The resurrection of an icon (09:12 AEDT, 31 March 2017) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  2. Suu Kyi’s Myanmar, one year on (09:10 AEDT, 27 April 2017) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  3. Incident at Three Pagodas Pass (13:09 AEDT, 31 May 2017) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  4. A big step back for Myanmar (07:17 AEDT, 13 September 2017) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  5. The Rohingya crisis and Myanmar’s military responses (14:00 AEDT, 24 November 2017) (PDF, 0.1MB)

2018

  1. The Rohingya question: Determining whom to hold to account (09:30 AEDT, 20 April 2018) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  2. The Rohingyas: A new terrorist threat? (06:00 AEDT, 6 September 2018) (PDF, 0.1MB)

2019

  1. Myanmar’s intelligence apparatus under Aung San Suu Kyi (10:00 AEDT, 12 April 2019) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  2. Myanmar: Pariah status no bar to defence modernisation (15:00 AEDT, 7 May 2019) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  3. With new coastguard, Myanmar looks to improve maritime security (06:00 AEDT, 9 September 2019) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  4. Myanmar: Postage stamps and political signals (06:00 AEDT, 30 September 2019) (PDF, 0.1MB)
  5. Aung San Suu Kyi: Why defend the indefensible? (14:00 AEDT, 12 December 2019) (PDF, 0.1MB)

Reviews

‘Interpreting Myanmar: A Decade of Analysis by Andrew Selth is an insightful look at Myanmar politics over the past decade. Interpreting is a collection of blog posts written contemporaneously from 2008 to 2019 in reaction to significant events concerning Myanmar. These blog posts were written for journalists, policy practitioners, and academics with a birds-eye view of events within Myanmar. While more of a broad look at Myanmar, Selth writes on events in the country through a security lens, and in so doing provides a grounded understanding of Myanmar politics due to the central role the military (the Tatmadaw) plays in both domestic and foreign politics … Selth offers clear and straightforward explanations of contemporaneous events in Myanmar. This allows the reader to gain a broad, yet thorough, understanding of Myanmar politics. With Interpreting, the reader is better prepared to understand current events in Myanmar, especially in the wake of the February coup and the reemergence of direct military control.’

Review in Pacific Affairs by Darin Sanders Self, Cornell University, Ithaca.

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