The central purpose of this book is to examine answers to questions regarding the kind of political system that Myanmar urgently needs to develop. Myanmar has suffered the endless civil war for decades since regaining its sovereignty in 1948. Therefore, the lead research question is: What kind of federal democratic model is the most suitable for Myanmar and what kind of political arrangements should be in place?
To examine answers for this question, the author employed a descriptive–qualitative approach and triangulation research method including interviews with politicians and activists in Myanmar, field observation and analysis of historical documents. The author examines the contemporary political issues of Myanmar in term of federalism to ensure that analysis of this book does not omit the actual political process performed by the government. As a result of the study, Myanmar needs a tailored federal model which is the best to accommodate the ethnically divided country that would enhance solutions to ethnic conflicts and end the civil war.
Pau Sian Lian received a PhD in political science from Waseda University and is academic coordinator at the Constitutional Federalism Institute in Myanmar.
The first book on Myanmar that provides a comprehensive review of literature on federalism and how Myanmar can move forward to implement a federal system that addresses its complex situations. Written from the perspective of a native of Myanmar who belongs to Chin minority ethnic group, this book will be of interest to students, scholars, and policy makers who are interested in Myanmar/Southeast Asia, federalism, and political regime types.
The book touches one of the most important political questions in search of an answer to end the world’s longest domestic armed conflict, and to building an enduring peace in Myanmar. It is most pertinent and timely to publish this very important research paper at a time Myanmar is in the midst of nation-wide popular revolution to end decades long military dictatorship, and to building a new democratic federal union based on the principles enshrined in the Panglong Agreement as envisioned by the founding fathers.
Under the situation that the centralized administrative power monopolized by the military has been afflicting the people in Burma/Myanmar, what is the most practical way to rebuild the state towards democracy based on decentralized federalism? The answer is fully discussed in this book. The author gives us an excellent analysis to consider what has happened among the ethnic minorities in this country since independence, and how the state should be reorganized through the realization of suitable style of federalism.
Dr Pau Sian Lian’s work is an excellent addition to academic literature on Myanmar federalism studies, a solution of which has yet to be found. Edged with nuanced demographic understanding of the issues based on race, ethnicity and religion in the country coupled with academic disciplines, he drew comparison from relevant federal praxes and tried to find a way for Myanmar’s journey towards a federal democracy through the wilderness of complicated political landscapes.
Federalism has been the central axis of constitutional debate in Myanmar since independence. While everyone understands that the only way forward for the country will involve some kind of federal settlement, the precise shape of that arrangement needs articulation. Pau Sian Lian’s deeply researched book provides a framework for designing a federal future, and thus provides hope. Highly recommended.
Dr. Pau Sian Lian's book is an outstanding and timely contribution to the federal democracy movement in Myanmar. The author offers a comprehensive analysis of various perspectives on federalism in Myanmar, and provides a thoughtfully developed framework for a future federal model. This federal framework is established through a careful comparison with successful federal models from other nations. Scholars, researchers, and policymakers with an interest in the future of Myanmar's federal democratic system will find this book to be an essential read.