Burma/Myanmar’s nonviolent movement failures: why resilience and leverage matter
Pollard, Glenda K.
Malley, Michael S.
Chatterjee, Anshu N.
MetadataShow full item record
Empirical research shows that nonviolent movements tend to be more effective than armed rebellion in influencing regime change, but in Burma (renamed Myanmar in 1989), the people failed twice in overthrowing the military-controlled government. The 1988 student-led movement had nationwide support and incapacitated the government but fell short of severing the military’s control of the state. In 2007, the monk-led Saffron Revolution attracted greater international attention but had less domestic participation and crumbled under violent suppression. Using Kurt Schock’s analytical framework for explaining the outcome of unarmed uprisings, which he describes in the 2005 Unarmed Insurrections: People Power Movements in Nondemocracies, this thesis analyzes both movements in Burma/Myanmar in terms of their resilience and leverage. The comparative case studies of these failed movements show that they were unsuccessful because they lacked resilience due to fragmentation and a lack of leadership, and they lacked leverage due to the regime’s unity and its capacity to pursue an effective repressive strategy against the opposition. This study concludes that the regime’s unshakable solidarity was the main reason for the movements’ failure. Resilience is important for an unarmed uprising to amass support and build strength, but without leverage, its chance of succeeding is low.
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Stein, Pamela T. (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2016-03);This thesis examines the role of Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, in the country’s political economy. Using a hybrid of the New Institutional Economics and the developmental state model as the analytical framework, a ...
Slagle, John T. (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2014-12);Myanmar is a Least Developed Nation, according to the UN, and therefore is highly vulnerable to the negative effects of a changing climate. To assess the relationship between Myanmar and climate change, this thesis analyzes ...
Monier, Jerry T., Jr. (Monterey California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2013-03);The term resilience is frequently used in the context of homeland security. The definition continues to emerge within the evolving homeland security enterprise. The purpose of this thesis is to clarify the concept of ...