Constitutional change and security force dynamics in South and Southeast Asia

an example from Myanmar

Md Jobair Alam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) Annual Conference 2017
Subtitle of host publicationfull conference schedule with abstracts
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventBritish Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) Annual Conference - Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Apr 201721 Apr 2017

Conference

ConferenceBritish Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) Annual Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityNottingham
Period19/04/1721/04/17

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    Alam, M. J. (2017). Constitutional change and security force dynamics in South and Southeast Asia: an example from Myanmar. In British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) Annual Conference 2017: full conference schedule with abstracts