Achieving civilian control of security forces through constitutional reform has been a major challenge for emerging democracies in South and Southeast Asia. Often governments seeking to establish civilian control have been faced with the threat of coups. A case study of Myanmar (Burma), where the security forces have moved towards becoming more integrated under the latest constitution of civilian-led regimes is undertaken. This paper asks: (i) how did the institutionalization of security forces under civilian-led constitutions occur; and (ii) how might civilian control be sustained over time? It is argued that security forces agree to the constitutional changes mainly as a result of informal bargaining. Concessions by civilians result from their relative weaker unity compared to the security forces. The final provisions are shaped by the heritage of authoritarianism coupled with threat environments. In conclusion this paper suggests a model for achieving constitutionally-enshrined civilian supremacy and democratic development for an ethnically divided Myanmar.
|Title of host publication||British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) Annual Conference 2017|
|Subtitle of host publication||full conference schedule with abstracts|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
|Event||British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) Annual Conference - Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom|
Duration: 19 Apr 2017 → 21 Apr 2017
|Conference||British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) Annual Conference|
|Period||19/04/17 → 21/04/17|