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Caretaking DemocratizationThe Military and Political Change in Myanmar$
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Renaud Egreteau

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190620967

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190620967.001.0001

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The Broadening of Sociopolitical Spaces

The Broadening of Sociopolitical Spaces

(p.39) 2 The Broadening of Sociopolitical Spaces
Caretaking Democratization

Renaud Egreteau

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the patterns of the sudden opening-up of Myanmar’s political, social and economic space in the early 2010s. It shows how the environment that emerged under Thein Sein’s semi-civilian presidency (2011-2016) appears to have nurtured an unprecedented level of optimism both at home and abroad. Civilian opposition has been allowed, dissent is relatively tolerated and civil society has increased. Censorship has been considerably eased and progressive legislation has been prepared. At the same time, new forms of radicalism and contentious politics have (re)surfaced in the country, benefiting from the relaxation of the military and state control. All pose new challenges to Myanmar’s social cohesion and its prospects for peaceful democratization, as well as to the transition as it was initially “pacted”.

Keywords:   Democratic change, Liberalization, Civil society, Radicalism, Myanmar

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