Book Chapter

Asymmetry or Equality? Ethnic Nationalities in a Bamar-Dominated State. A Country Study of Constitutional Asymmetry in Myanmar

M Breen

Constitutional Asymmetry in Multinational Federalism | Palgrave Macmillan | Published : 2019


The post-colonial state of Myanmar (then Burma) was born some 70 years ago following a deal between representatives of the majority Bamar ethnic group and three ethnic nationalities. This agreement was the basis of the initial strongly asymmetrical federal system, and much of the distrust between Bamar and other ethnic nationalities, who were promised equality. Internal conflict erupted at independence and continues. In 1974, the military tried to restore stability with a symmetrical quasi-federal constitution, but without political parties. Still, it formed the basis of a 2008 constitution that incorporated a “managed transition” to democracy yet reintroduced some asymmetry through the addi..

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University of Melbourne Researchers