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Showing posts from August, 2018

The Constitution, the Military and the State in Myanmar

On 8 October I will give a talk at the University of Chicago on " The Constitution, the Military and the State in Myanmar: The Power and Limits of Aung San Suu Kyi’s Government " Calls for constitutional reform persist in many countries around the global. Constitutional design and participation in constitution-making presents a host of challenges in divided societies. Demands for constitutional change are often perceived as an unwanted critique of the current political regime and for this reason are highly controversial. My presentation will consider the origins of Myanmar’s 2008 Constitution, the role of the military in its drafting and implementation, and the way this Constitution limits the state. In doing so, I will examine the principles and ideas that animate the Constitution and affect what Aung San Suu Kyi’s government can do. This is critically important given the ongoing crisis in northern Rakhine State. Contrary to analysis that priorities personalities and

Seminar at Buffett Institute's Global Politics and Religion Faculty Research Group

On 5 October 2018, I will give a talk at Northwestern's Buffet Institute Global Politics and Religion Faculty Research Group, at the Evanston campus, US.  The topic of my talk is " Statesof Interpretive Denial in Myanmar: How the Rohingya Lost the Right to Vote andWhy it Matters " Abstract of the talk: The international community celebrated the 2015 Myanmar elections and the success of the National League for Democracy and Aung San Suu Kyi. It was even more remarkable that the NLD was then allowed to take power, given the history of the NLD being denied the right to form a government after the 1990 elections. Yet this was only part of the story. The global community by and large missed the legal act of excluding the Rohingya from the political community through disenfranchisement. This act of interpretive denial was executed by parliament, the courts and the administration through the deliberate denial of the right to vote or run for political office for those who

Constitution-making in Divided Societies: The Case of Myanmar

On  13 September 2018 I will be speaking at the  Center for Constitutional Democracy,  Indiana University Maurer School of Law , Indianapolis, on "Constitution-Making in Divided Societies". Calls for constitutional reform persist in many countries around the global. Constitutional design and participation in constitution-making presents particular challenges in divided societies. Demands for constitutional change are often perceived as an unwanted critique of the current political regime and for this reason are highly controversial, even deadly. This is the case in Myanmar, where in January 2017, the most prominent lawyer and advocate for constitutional reform, U Ko Ni, was brutally assassinated. His death is an illustration of the intense struggle for constitutionalism in Myanmar. My presentation will consider how and why Myanmar’s 2008 Constitution was drafted, and how it has been implemented. In doing so, I will examine the principles and ideas that animate the Cons