Myanmar's Challenges

1682 Words7 Pages
State building and the implementation of policy is a central process to the legitimacy of government worldwide. These critical facets of government institutions have been thoroughly challenged throughout Myanmar’s history, a country with an awful human rights record. In this essay I will focus on the last decade in particular, where Myanmar’s state capacity and political institutions have been challenged immeasurably. This essay will focus on the implications that pose a challenge to Myanmar’s state capacity and development. First, I will discuss the military coup d’état, which was followed by military junta heading the Burmese state for several decades. I will then examine the issue of internally displaced people and the resulting ethnic and religious conflict. Lastly, I will investigate the issue of drug trafficking and slave labour in Myanmar.

State capacity is an enduring and central process for state autonomy. The state is famously defined by Sociologist Max Weber as the ’human community that claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory.’ Therefore, state capacity is the rule of enforcement: ‘the ability of states to plan and execute policies, therefore being able to enforce laws cleanly and transparently.’ The capacity of the state is central to the legitimacy of the state, which can be challenged and measured by a countries internal coherence, stability, collection of tax, and security of the state of the enforcement law. O’Neil continues to say a state is weakly institutionalised if it must exercise force in order to ensure compliance.

A military junta has been in power in Myanmar since the coup d’état in 1962, which overthrew the government and opened the ‘Burmese road to Soci...

... middle of paper ...

...: Routledge, 2008.

Miller, Rebecca. Human Trafficking in South East Asia. in South East Asian Development Routledge, London, 2008. 126.

The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) on Media Press on ‘ Saffron Revolution’.

Accessed April 5, 2012

http://www.ncgub.net/NCGUB/staticpages/index2fad.html?page=announcements

Pedersen, Morten (2008): Burma’s Ethnic Minorities. Critical Asian Studies, 40:1, 45-65.

O’Neil, Patrick. Essentials of Comparative Politics. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2010.

Smith, Martin. State of strife: the dynamics of ethnic conflict in Burma

Singapore: Institue for Southeast Asian Studies. 2007.

Smith, Martin. Burma's Ethnic Diversity Anti-Slavery International 1994. 35-44.

U.S. Department of State "Burma." International Narcotics Control Strategy Report. 2010. Academic OneFile. 5 Apr. 2012. P.170.
Open Document