Prospects for Political Reform in Burma

Speaker: Professor Ian Holliday
The University of Hong Kong  


Date: Thursday, 19 March 2009

Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.



Burma has been in political stalemate since the late 1980s, when the 8-8-88 pro-democracy movement was violently suppressed by the country's dominant military machine and the 1990 general election, won in a landslide by Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, generated no power shift. For the best part of 20 years since then, brute force exercised by the military junta has been countered by moral authority wielded by the democratic opposition, and little political change has been registered inside the country. Today, however, a measure of reform is on the agenda as the junta prepares for nationwide elections in 2010 as a way of delivering on its seven-stage "roadmap to democracy". In a context of deep scepticism about the junta's intentions, but also of some change in the country's external environment, Professor Holliday's presentation will investigate prospects for political reform in Burma, focusing on contributions that both insiders and outsiders might make to achieve sustainable democratization.

 Speaker's Biography:

Ian Holliday is Dean of Social Sciences at The University of Hong Kong. Previously he was Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at City University of Hong Kong. He has been writing about Burma for the past 4-5 years.

Co-hosted by:

Department of Political Science


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