The Paradox of Myanmar's democratization process

Zofia Sjeerm, Jule Wichern, Natascha Hyld & Alexander Kondrup

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This research project will provide an insight into the process of democratization in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in Southeast Asia. It will examine the case of what the UN calls the most persecuted minority, the Rohingya, and how this plight has links to the processes of democratization in the country. The theory of Nationalist Elite Persuasion in Democratizing State by Jack Snyder will be applied in order to explain the actions and interests of groups in states undergoing democratization, and provide a framework for understanding why minority exclusion can occur in young democracies. By applying the theory to this case of the Rohingya in Rakhine State, extensive links were found between the process of democratization and ethnic exclusion in Myanmar. It was found that an army elite, previously connected to the former Junta of the country have managed to transfer its pre-democracy executive power into the new democratic system of Myanmar. In correlation with Snyder’s theory this was done, by stirring up national and religious sentiment among nationalist groups who have the exclusion of the Rohingya as one of their main goals. This in turn leads to the minority’s increased marginalization despite the introduction of democratic processes. Finally, the paper will provide a prediction of what the future holds for Myanmar as the country recently completed a historic election in November of 2015, the results of which will see the first opposition led government take power in the democratizing state.

UddannelserBasis - International Samfundsvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato21 dec. 2015
VejledereLaust Schouenborg


  • marginalization
  • Myanmar
  • democratization
  • Rohingya