NATIONALISM UNDERMINES MYANMAR’S TRANSITION TO DEMOCRACY
Sangkat Chakto Mukh, monument to democracy in Phnom Penh, Nov 2014. Wikimedia Commons
By Mon Mon Myat
The Irrawaddy-Dec 27
Political scientist Benedict Anderson observes in his book “Imagined Communities” that nationalism has “roots in fear and hatred of the Other, and affinities with racism.” As some political parties and local institutions revitalize nationalism, Myanmar’s democratic transition has not progressed far as expected. Racism and extreme religious beliefs have regenerated nationalism in Myanmar after it was concealed inside a closed society under authoritarian rule for almost six decades. During the so-called democratic transition under former president U Thein Sein’s government, nationalism was officially endorsed.
First published in: The Irrawaddy