Nation-Building in Myanmar: The Role of Drug Eradication Schemes

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Announcing: Lomethong, Jen and John Walsh, “Nation-Building in Myanmar: The Role of Drug Eradication Schemes,” The Myanmar Journal, Vol.4, No.2 (2017), pp.31-40, available at: http://www.komyra.com/bbs/board.php?bo_table=articles&wr_id=74.

Abstract:

ABSTRACT : Production of opium has been problematic in Myanmar for many
centuries, particularly in the contemporary era where there has been a
shortage of alternative suitable cash crops for subsistence farmers struggling
to face the challenges of globalization. Various drug eradication programmes
have been tried in the country, often in conjunction with international
partners but these have been of limited success because the military
government was unwilling to allow access to many parts of the country to
observers and, indeed, some parts of the country were not available even to
the military government. In addition, local warlords had patronage networks
which extended into government circles and caused divided loyalties among
at least some of those people charged with eradication. This paper explores
the existence and performance of drug eradication schemes in contemporary
Myanmar and then argues that none is likely to be successful until steps are
taken to raise confidence in peace and stability among all important
stakeholders. This, in turn, can only be achieved with nation-building
initiatives. It is recognised that the current political settlement is fragile and it
is not impossible that democracy will be lost again. The example of the
Rohingya refugees and the recent outbreaks of ethnic violence in urban
Myanmar show the limits of state institutions and technical capacity in this
regard.
Key words : drug eradication, Myanmar, nation-building, state capacity

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Myanmar’s Mothers at a Time of Structural Change

Announcing:

Win, Sandi and John Walsh, “Myanmar’s Mothers at a Time of Structural Change,” The Myanmar Journal, Vol.4, No.2 (2017), pp.13-30, available at: http://www.komyra.com/bbs/board.php?bo_table=articles&wr_id=73.

Abstract:

ABSTRACT : The intersectionalities of Myanmar’s patriarchic system have
represented significant challenges to the country’s women, particularly its
mothers. The confluence of class, ethnicity and patronage networks contains within itself the numerous barriers to women working outside the house, particularly after marriage. This manifests itself is social mores as well as practical issues relating to the ability to balance child care with outside activities. This situation is now changing because of the relative opening of the state to democracy and the forces of globalization. In Mandalay, capital of the Northern Division of the country and centre of agricultural production, globalization is represented by the physical infrastructure of the road linking the city to Thailand, India and China, the dry dock and special economic zone, the spread of capitalism to more sectors of society and the opportunities to consume international products through newly-opened retail spaces such as in Ocean Plaza, as well as the access to information from mobile internet access cross-border television shows. These changes are affecting the decisions women can make about their lives and the expectations placed upon them to be not just wives, mothers and daughters but, also, modern consumers and producers in a developed capitalist society. This paper reports on qualitative research conducted with a diverse range of mothers in Mandalay through in-depth personal interviews. A semi-structured research instrument is used to encourage the respondents to discuss issues related to work-life balance, aspirations, life chances and relationships with other people, including family members, institutions and the market. The findings are presented within a framework that combine practical, cognitive and spiritual elements.
Key words : gender, modernity, mothers, Myanmar, work-life balance

Nation-Building and the Management of Drug Eradication Schemes in Myanmar

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Lomethong, Jen and John Walsh, “Nation-Building and the Management of Drug Eradication Schemes in Myanmar,” paper presented at the International Conference on Nation-Building 2017 (May 28th-30th, 2017, Bangkok).

Abstract:

Opium production and consumption has been known to be a problem in Myanmar since at least 1750. Production of opium was 36 tons in 1948 but that rose to 2,500 tons in 1996, owing to market conditions and the lack of alternatives to farmers searching for cash crops and for ethnic groups mounting insurgencies. Various drug eradication programmes have been tried in the country, often in conjunction with international partners but these have been of limited success because the military government was unwilling to allow access to many parts of the country to observers and, indeed, some parts of the country were not available even to the military government. In addition, local warlords had patronage networks which extended into government circles and caused divided loyalties among at least some of those people charged with eradication. This paper explores the existence and performance of drug eradication schemes in contemporary Myanmar and then argues that none is likely to be successful until steps are taken to raise confidence in peace and stability among all important stakeholders. This, in turn, can only be achieved with nation-building initiatives. It is recognised that the current political settlement is fragile and it is not impossible that democracy will be lost again. The example of the Rohingya refugees and the recent outbreaks of ethnic violence in urban Myanmar show the limits of state institutions and technical capacity in this regard.
Keywords: drug eradication, Myanmar, nation-building, state capacity

Impact of Mobile Telephones on Rural Livelihoods in Northern Myanmar

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Announcing: Khaing, Mya Kay and John Walsh, “Impact of Mobile Telephones on Rural Livelihoods in Northern Myanmar,” The Myanmar Journal, Vol.4, No.1 (2017), available at: http://www.komyra.com/bbs/board.php?bo_table=articles&wr_id=62&page=0&page=0.

Abstract:

ABSTRACT: The topic of this research is the impact of Mobile telephones on Rural Livelihoods in Northern Myanmar: A Study of Patheingyi and Madaya Townships, Mandalay Division. Survey Questionnaires forms were conducted with 494 respondents from 600 sample size actively involved in and were analyzed using PSPP.  The findings of this study are that on telecommunications use, benefits, and constraints in Mandalay Division – has helped illuminate the economic and social impacts of telecommunications market liberalization. Modes of communication are changing, new business ventures are emerging, and mobile phones are becoming a part of everyday life. In this report focuses on not only by exploring the ongoing impacts of increasing telephone access, but also by investigating the constraints imposed by complementary infrastructure, and patterns of internet uptake.

Key Words : Impact, Mobile Phones, Rural Livelihoods, Assets, information Communications Technology, Myanmar

Myanmar’s Mothers at a Time of Structural Change

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Win, Sandi and John Walsh, “Myanmar’s Mothers at a Time of Structural Change,” paper presented at Myanmar Update 2017 (Australian National University, Canberra, February 16th-18th, 2017).

Abstract

The intersectionalities of Myanmar’s patriarchic system have represented significant challenges to the country’s women, particularly its mothers. The confluence of class, ethnicity and patronage networks contains within itself the numerous barriers to women working outside the house, particularly after marriage. This manifests itself is social mores as well as practical issues relating to the ability to balance childcare with outside activities. This situation is now changing because of the relative opening of the state to democracy and the forces of globalization. In Mandalay, capital of the Northern Division of the country and centre of agricultural production, globalization is represented by the physical infrastructure of the road linking the city to Thailand, India and China, the dry dock and special economic zone, the spread of capitalism to more sectors of society and the opportunities to consume international products through newly-opened retail spaces such as in Ocean Plaza, as well as the access to information from mobile internet access cross-border television shows. These changes are affecting the decisions women can make about their lives and the expectations placed upon them to be not just wives, mothers and daughters but, also, modern consumers and producers in a developed capitalist society. This paper reports on qualitative research conducted with a diverse range of mothers in Mandalay through in-depth personal interviews. A semi-structured research instrument is used to encourage the respondents to discuss issues related to work-life balance, aspirations, life chances and relationships with other people, including family members, institutions and the market. The findings are presented within a framework that combine practical, cognitive and spiritual elements.

Keywords: gender, modernity, mothers, Myanmar, work-life balance