State-building, Military Modernization and Cross-border Ethnic Violence in Myanmar
Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, 2018, vol. 5, issue 1, 1-30
This article explains cross-border uses of force against ethnic armed groups along Myanmarâ€™s bloody borders with China and Thailand. I trace the history of Burmaâ€™s ethnic disputes, its state-society relations, and the â€œmodernizationâ€ of its military doctrine to understand how its state-building enterprise can shape the use of force along a stateâ€™s frontier. I treat each of the border regions as distinct sub-categories to highlight variation in the micro-dynamics as well as types and conditions under which the use of state-orchestrated violence occurs. First, I point to the role of greater state-building â€“ extractive, coercive, etc. â€“ and how it influences the use of force along border regions. Second, I explore the modernization of Burmaâ€™s military and evolution of its doctrine â€“ this includes early efforts by the tatmadawâ€™s post-1988 shift toward a more conventional counterinsurgency strategy. An implication of my theory is that more peaceful relations between states perversely can create the conditions for more cross-border violence, as there are greater opportunities for states to either â€œpoolâ€ border security or outsource the use of force to proxies or paramilitary forces.
Keywords: Burma; Myanmar; state-building; civil-military relations; Tatmadaw; civil war; counterinsurgency; state-society relations; China; Thailand (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sae:asseca:v:5:y:2018:i:1:p:1-30
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