The Development-Insecurity Nexus: Geo-economic Transformations and Violence in Myanmar

Brenner, David. 2017. The Development-Insecurity Nexus: Geo-economic Transformations and Violence in Myanmar. LSE Global South Unit Working Paper Series. Working Paper No 1 2017, ISSN 2057-1461 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Myanmar’s peace process is often viewed in light of the country’s wider political transition. While this prism seems intuitive, it misses the impacts of powerful geopolitical interests from China, Thailand and India that have started to transform Myanmar’s restive but strategically-located borderlands from peripheries into hubs of regional connectivity, trade and development. This paper sheds light on the divergent effects that these economic forces have on dynamics of war and peace: On the one hand, they provide an inroad for crude pacification and partial state territorialisation in areas formerly off limits. On the other hand, they instigate new dynamics of armed resistance among ethnic insurgency movements. This puts the success of Myanmar’s peace process as well as the development aspirations of neighbouring regional powers in doubt. By comparing the ways in which economic transformations have driven dynamics of conflict and violence in the Karen and Kachin borderlands, the paper identifies one of the key problems of Myanmar’s peace process in the misconception that securitised, economic development can override long-standing ethnonational ideologies, ethnic discrimination, and socio-political grievances.

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Myanmar; BRI/OBOR; political economy of conflict; borderlands; rebellion

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Date Deposited:

23 Jan 2019 13:50

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 17:05


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