It has been suggested that the sociopolitical context of Myanmar during the 1990s and 2000s ‘calls into question much of fragile state policy .. [and] creates a new challenge for humanitarian policy’ (Duffield 2008, p. 39). Myanmar has been a United Nations’ least developed country for the past 27 years, and, as the poorest country in mainland Southeast Asia, is a ‘fragile state’ by most definitions. However, during most of this same period Myanmar was isolated as an international pariah, ostracised (particularly by the West) as a ‘pariah state’ that did not belong to the community of civilised nations over its human rights record. Strangely for this combination of factors, the regime that took power in 1988 had policies (at least in the beginning, and at least in rhetoric) which favoured foreign investment, neoliberal economic development, démocratisation and international engagement. This paradoxical combination of poverty, fragility, pro-international engagement for economic growth polity and yet international isolation created an unusual and enigmatic context for international agencies, and one in which the existing frameworks for development in ‘fragile states’ do not appear overly relevant.
- United Nations Development Programme
- Fragile State
- Multilateral Agency
- International Crisis Group
- Humanitarian Principle
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© 2014 Anthony Ware
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Ware, A. (2014). Development in a Fragile Pariah State: Myanmar 1990–2010. In: Ware, A. (eds) Development in Difficult Sociopolitical Contexts. Rethinking International Development Series. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137347633_12
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