Nation-building and Nationalism in Myanmar: The Post-2008 Situation and Prospects for the Future

Kendra Schreiner


Myanmar is home to dozens of ethnic groups, languages, and political factions. This diversity coupled with racially and religiously defined political ideologies, has helped to fuel one of the world’s longest civil wars, spanning over half a century. This article explores the nation-building strategies pursued by successive governments since independence and their effects on the current political situation. It then focuses on the 2008 constitution, the return to democracy in 2010, and the transition to a civilian government following the 2015 election, and explores whether significant progress has been made to move the country out of civil war and into ethnically and politically inclusive democracy.


Myanmar; Nationalism; Nation-building; Aung San Suu Kyi; Civil War; Ethnic Relations

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