Reforms, Protest, and Repression in Democratic Transition: A Hypothesis-Generating Case Study from Myanmar (2011-2015)

25 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2019

See all articles by Andy Buschmann

Andy Buschmann

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Political Science; University of Oxford, Department of Politics and International Relations

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

Existing scholarship lacks important knowledge about how protest and coercion change during regime change. This study provides new evidence by studying legal reforms as well as patterns of protest and repression during the first 46 months of Myanmar’s regime change. By examining law amendments and analyzing protest data compiled via a protest event analysis from local news resources, it can be shown that the de jure exercisability and de facto exercise of protest have changed considerably over time. Informal repression of protest, such as by arbitrary violence, have gradually made way for methods that are formally in accordance with the rule of law, but remained inconsistent with human rights standards. Additionally, repression has become more selective, demonstrating a continuous high state control over the civil society. I suggest that the observed changes may be general features of elite-controlled transitions to competitive authoritarianism, a hypothesis that merits future cross-national research.

Keywords: Myanmar, democratization, transition, protest, social movements, repression, civil liberties, civil society, freedom of assembly; freedom of expression; freedom of association

Suggested Citation

Buschmann, Andy, Reforms, Protest, and Repression in Democratic Transition: A Hypothesis-Generating Case Study from Myanmar (2011-2015) (2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3101888 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3101888

Andy Buschmann (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Political Science ( email )

MI
United States

University of Oxford, Department of Politics and International Relations ( email )

Oxford
United Kingdom

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