Darkness at Dawn The Myanmar Coup and Its Aftermath
On February 1, the Myanmar military, also known as the Tatmadaw, staged a coup d'état and imposed a one-year state of “emergency.” It has also jailed prominent leaders including State Counsellor Aung Sun Suu Kyi and appears to be increasingly comfortable with repressing ensuing protests using extreme force. In the process, the Tatmadaw has significantly imperiled Myanmar’s slow but steady democratic transition, created considerable complications for Western as well as regional powers, including China, and stands to also fuel the country’s ethnic conflicts. Furthermore, the power-grab sits on top of a rapid decline in democratic norms across Southeast Asia in general and portends ill for the future of democracy in the region. Western powers are unlikely to have ready instruments at hand to compel the Tatmadaw into reversing its moves. Growing China-U.S. rivalry is also likely to act as a geopolitical shield for the insular military regime which has, historically, been suspicious of Beijing.
In this edition of the DRI Monthly Report, six prominent experts and long-time specialists in Asian affairs examine the various factors that are likely to shape what would follow the February putsch. The report examines Myanmar’s internal politics, political economy, ethnic conflicts, and relations with neighboring major powers China and India, as well as ASEAN.
Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Myanmar Between Populism and Putsch David Scott Mathieson
- Myanmar’s Protracted Ethnic Conflicts Hunter Marston
- Myanmar’s Political Economy Lee Jones
- Strategic Implications of the Myanmar Coup for China Yun Sun
- India’s Interests in Myanmar Avinash Paliwal
- Myanmar and Democracy in Southeast Asia Sebastian Strangio
- The Authors