Democracy and Social Conflict in Burma

  • Michal Kouřil
Keywords: Burma, Myanmar, Conflict, 2015 General Elections, Ethnic Armed Organizations


This article aims to evaluate the implications of the general elections in Burma in 2015 for the ongoing armed conflicts in this country. The article is conceptually based on Edward Azar’s theory of protracted social conflict. This theory was chosen because ethnic armed organizations in Burma have always emphasized needs such as securing their own identity, security, and the possibility of political participation, which are the main tenets of Azar’s theory. For the purposes of this article, a series of field studies in selected locations was carried out in the years 2016–2017. This research has complemented some of the previous findings of a number of authors who have dealt with the region and has shown that the main obstacle to settling the conflict is the current Burmese constitution, which was issued in 2008 by the former military government at the end of its reign.

Author Biography

Michal Kouřil

is a graduate of the Asian Studies and International Relations Programe of Metroplitan University Prague. During the 2014–2015 academic year he spent one semester at Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University in Bangkok, Thailand, where he was working on his master’s thesis on the subject of the current role of the Golden Triangle in the international drug trade. He has completed a number of field researches in Myanmar and northern Thailand with the support of the MUP grant system. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of International Relations in Prague. In 2018, he spent half a year as a visiting research fellow at Thammasat University in Bangkok. His research interests include armed conflicts and drug geopolitics in Southeast Asia.

Research Articles