Why Do Military Regimes Institutionalize? Constitution-making and Elections as Political Survival Strategy in Myanmar

Aurel Croissant, Jil Kamerling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

In recent years Myanmar underwent drastic political changes. While many see these changes as first tentative steps towards democratization, we argue that the current political transformation is not a deliberate process of liberalization, but a survival strategy of the military regime. Using arguments of the 'new institutionalism' as a theoretical foundation, this article explores the hypothesis that the high degree of professionalization of the Burmese military creates the incentive to institutionalize power-sharing among the ruling elite. Our empirical analysis finds evidence for both a highly professionalized military and institutions that by securing the military's continuing dominance serve the purpose of institutionalizing military power- sharing. These results imply that further democratization is unlikely as it must be initiated from within the still dominating military itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-125
Number of pages21
JournalAsian Journal of Political Science
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • Military Regime
  • Myanmar
  • New Institutionalism
  • Power Sharing
  • Professionalism
  • Survival Strategy

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