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Democratic dawn? Civil society and elections in Myanmar 2010-2012

Lidauer, Michael

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Abstract While the general elections in Myanmar in November 2010 were widely condemned, both national and international actors approached the by-elections of April 2012 as a political rite-de-passage to improve relations between the government and the opposition inside, and between the former pariah state and the international community outside the country. An undercurrent to the government-led transition process from an authoritarian to a formally more democratic regime was the development of a politically oriented civil society that found ways to engage in the electoral process. This article describes the emerging spaces of election-related civil society activism in the forms of civic and voter education, national election observation, and election-related agency in the media. Noting that, in particular, election observation offers connections for civil society to regional and international debates, the paper draws preliminary conclusions about further developments ahead of the general elections in Myanmar expected for 2015.
Keywords Myanmar; democratization; parliamentary election; party system; election; reporting; media; political participation; civil society; Southeast Asia; voting behavior; election campaign; observation
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Method descriptive study
Free Keywords Burma; election observation; 1988-2012
Document language English
Publication Year 2012
Page/Pages p. 87-114
Journal Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 31 (2012) 2
ISSN 1868-4882
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works