Soldiers and Diplomacy in Burma — Understanding the Foreign Relations of the Burmese Praetorian State |

Soldiers and Diplomacy in Burma — Understanding the Foreign Relations of the Burmese Praetorian State


Soldiers and Diplomacy addresses the key question of the ongoing role of the military in Burma’s foreign policy. The authors, a political scientist and a former Asia editor for the BBC, provide a fresh perspective on Burma’s foreign and security policies, which have shifted between pro-active diplomacies of neutralism and non-alignment, and autarkical policies of isolation and xenophobic nationalism. The authors argue that key elements of continuity underlie Burma’s striking post-colonial policy changes and contrasting diplomatic practices. Among the defining factors here are the formidable dominance of the Burmese armed forces over state structures, the enduring domestic political conundrum and the peculiar geography of a country located at the crossroads of India, China and Southeast Asia. The book argues that the Burmese military still has the tools needed to retain their praetorian influence over the country’s foreign policy in the post-junta context of the 2010s. For international policymakers, potential foreign investors and Burma’s immediate neighbours, this will have strong implications in terms of the country’s foreign policy approach.

“There has long been a need for an objective and well researched study of the role played by Burma’s armed forces in the country’s external relations. By comprehensively examining the issue, this outstanding book makes a major contribution to modern Burma studies”
— Andrew Selth, Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University

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Dr. Renaud Egreteau, Research Assistant Professor, University of Hong Kong; and
Mr. Larry Jagan, South East Asia Correspondent, The National (Abu Dhabi)

Monday, 10 June 2013
12:15pm - 1:30pm

Seminar Room 3-1,
Level 3, Manasseh Meyer,
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy,
469C Bukit Timah Road,
Singapore 259772

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