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Inside the Karen Insurgency: explaining conflict and conciliation in Myanmar’s changing borderlands

Brenner, David (2017) Inside the Karen Insurgency: explaining conflict and conciliation in Myanmar’s changing borderlands Asian Security. pp. 1-17.

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Abstract

Since 2012 Myanmar’s oldest ethnic rebel group, the Karen National Union (KNU), has sought for considerable rapprochement with the government. To many, this seemed to be the direct outcome of wider political transition in Myanmar. This article proposes an alternative explanation. Based on extensive field research and an emerging literature on armed groups, it demonstrates that the group’s rapprochement with the government was driven by leadership struggles between two rival factions within the KNU. At the core of this contestation are shifting internal power relations, which resulted from military pressures and geopolitical transformations in the Myanmar-Thai borderlands. These findings point to significant shortcomings of Myanmar’s peace process. They also contribute to the field of Conflict and Security Studies with much needed primary source data on the internal politics of insurgency, which shows how dynamics of civil war are driven by an interplay between forces on different levels of analysis.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Politics
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Politics
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Brenner, Davidd.brenner@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Date : 18 April 2017
Identification Number : 10.1080/14799855.2017.1293657
Copyright Disclaimer : The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14799855.2017.1293657
Uncontrolled Keywords : : Non-State Armed Groups, Insurgency, Borderlands, Myanmar, Karen National Union
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 01 Mar 2017 15:46
Last Modified : 19 Jul 2017 11:32
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/813659

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