Title

Politicide' and the Myanmar coup

Author Information

Seinenu M. Thein-Lemelson

Date of Publication

2021 12:00 AM

Security Theme

Political Stability

Keywords

court politics, democratic backsliding, coup, civil-military relations, state violence

Description

Can the 2021 Myanmar coup be understood as part of a broader campaign by the Burmese army to commit ‘politicide’? The recent wave of violent raids, detentions and extrajudicial killings taking place across Myanmar is part of a long-standing pattern of systematic violence perpetrated against political groups and social movements that challenge military control and dominance. The author reviews the history of persecution directed at the National League for Democracy (NLD), the 88 Generation, All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) and others who took part in the Burmese democracy movement. The author also reports findings from a multi-year ethnography she conducted with a community of activists and former political prisoners. She observes that, like ethnic and religious groups, this political community possesses stable, characteristic features, which are transmitted intergenerationally. She advocates for use of the term ‘politicide’ to understand both the recent coup and the history of violence perpetrated against the NLD, 88 Generation ABSFU and other groups inside Myanmar.

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Politicide' and the Myanmar coup

Can the 2021 Myanmar coup be understood as part of a broader campaign by the Burmese army to commit ‘politicide’? The recent wave of violent raids, detentions and extrajudicial killings taking place across Myanmar is part of a long-standing pattern of systematic violence perpetrated against political groups and social movements that challenge military control and dominance. The author reviews the history of persecution directed at the National League for Democracy (NLD), the 88 Generation, All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) and others who took part in the Burmese democracy movement. The author also reports findings from a multi-year ethnography she conducted with a community of activists and former political prisoners. She observes that, like ethnic and religious groups, this political community possesses stable, characteristic features, which are transmitted intergenerationally. She advocates for use of the term ‘politicide’ to understand both the recent coup and the history of violence perpetrated against the NLD, 88 Generation ABSFU and other groups inside Myanmar.