Myanmar in Transition: Democracy, Development and Social Change

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Asian Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM (MDT)
Room: Oak Alley, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Organizers: Marion SABRIE, Xiaobo Su, Chung-Tong Wu
Chairs: Marion SABRIE


In April 2016, a democratically elected government, led by the NLD, took office in Myanmar marking a new beginning for the country. The new government has the challenge and burden of heightened expectations. It is obvious transition to democracy and what it means for development and social change will take time to unfold. While the new government takes the necessary steps to formulate policies for the challenges of the past decades, for example, ethnic armed groups and sectarian conflict, economic challenges, resource management, environmental issues and social transformations await attention. Steps to tackle issues such as peace with ethnic armed groups, sectarian conflicts, burgeoning squatter settlements, illegal buildings and development and land ownership illustrate the complexity of these issues. However, international and domestic investors seek certainty and guidance and the population demand urgent attention to improvements to their daily lives. Some foreign governments also press their case for stalled projects and agreement to new initiatives.
This proposed session welcomes papers from diverse perspectives on the spatial, environmental, social, economic and political aspects of the transition evolving in Myanmar. Our aims for this panel are: first to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the changes that are taking place, their likely consequences and their impacts on the diverse groups within Myanmar; second, to stimulate exchanges amongst researchers with an interest in Myanmar and third, to continue to develop a research network of individuals with a focus on Myanmar in order to facilitate potential research collaborations.
We welcome papers with focus on any of the following, but by no means exclusive, topics:
• Borderland governance, development and economic dynamics;
• Environmental issues of resource sector projects;
• Mega projects and regional development;
• Rural to urban migration, welfare and resettlement;
• Tourism and its impacts on communities;
• Trade, foreign investment and aid;
• Urbanization and urban development


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Xiaobo Su*, University of Oregon, Seeing from a Tourist: Cross-border networks and the Geopolitics of Border control between China and Myanmar 20 1:20 PM
Presenter Chung-Tong Wu*, Western Sydney University, Special Economic Zones—lessons for Myanmar 20 1:40 PM
Presenter Van Bawi Lian*, Catholic Relief SErvice, Water Governance and Access to Water in Hakha Town, Chin State, Myanmar: Towards Addressing Water Insecurity. 20 2:00 PM
Presenter Pearlyn Y Pang, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute , Yi-Chen Wang*, National University of Singapore, Geovisualizing Urban-Rural Resilience to Droughts in Greater Yangon, Myanmar 20 2:20 PM
Discussant Marion Sabrie Center for Southeast Asian Studies 20 2:40 PM

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