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In partial fulfillment for the requirements in Political Science 11 For the first semester of academic year 2009-2010
Submitted to: Ms. Lovely Entoma
Submitted by: Vincent Joseph Estorque Cesista
University of the Philippines
Third Quarter, 2009
Table of Contents Page Chapter I: The Problem and Its Setting 1 1 2 3 4 4
Introduction Rationale Significance of the Study Statement of the Problem Objectives Scope and Delimitation
Dissertation’s Frameworks 5 7
Theoretical Framework Conceptual Framework
Chapter III: Methodology – In Depth Discussion and Analysis of the Study The Life of Aung San Suu Kyi in the Political Spectrum International Recognitions Socializing Agents that Shaped Aung San Suu Kyi’s Political Behavior 13 8 12
Chapter IV: Study Summary Conclusion and Generalization References 17 19
Rationale Democracy is a body of ideals practiced by some states in lieu of the classical absolute monarchy and authoritarianism that are believed to hamper the rights of the people. The global society is aware on how peoples from different parts of the world fight for their rights to attain a democratic state. United Nations has recognized efforts from different non-democratic countries and in return has helped these states and/or nations through diplomatic, economic or military aids to reach the empowerment that these peoples are longing for. The global political arena knows how democracy could be a catalyst of change for nations that need reforms and for dictators that should be ousted. United States of America is known to be a major lobbyist of democracy in the world and has done several decisions that have been pivotal points of the histories of a lot of countries: i.e. The democratization of Iraq in the first wave of 21 st century. Union of Myanmar, a republic that was faced with waves after waves of political and societal turmoil caused by hegemonic states such as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and what is then known as the Imperial Government of Japan. After the war, Myanmar was liberated through the efforts of some student-activists of those times. Here comes the problem, since there was no ultimate authority in Myanmar like the power United Kingdom has used, conflict started to rise from every corner of the country due to leaders grabbing powers against one another. Never mind that military rule has started to corrupt the very essence of democracy that was supposed to be received by Myanmar out of its so-called ‘liberation’. We shall furthermore treat this topic’s background in a more in-depth discussion and analysis in the succeeding chapters. Despite the military-fortified political havoc happening in Myanmar, people pushing for a full dressed-democracy were either out of the streets or lobbying in political arenas locally and internationally. We know how Aung San Suu Kyi calls for the unity of people of Myanmar to bloodlessly fight the existing military government. We also know how the government tried to stage assassination
plots against her as many times as they could – but all of these plans failed. With the blind belief that the fight for democracy would be easily ended, Aung San Suu Kyi was placed in house arrest for many years by Myanmar’s government. This paper would create a triangulation between the Union of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi and the concept of Democracy. We shall discuss how the principles of democracy were clearly ignored by the military government structured in Myanmar and how Aung San Suu Kyi, despite the threats in her life and blur future for a democratic achievement, still fight against the repression caused by her own government. Also, we shall take into consideration how the People of Myanmar believed that Aung San Suu Kyi is the catalyst of change that they should believe in that would alter the face of history forever. Despite Aung San Suu Kyi’s capability of staging a full-blown war against the government, she has always been true to her ideology of achieving democracy in ways that wouldn’t require violence. Significance of the Study As a student of political science, the researcher believes that the study and application of democracy in different set-ups should be well-understood. The case of Myanmar is a very good avenue for the discussion on how people of a military government call for a change of system in favor of a democratic rule. Using a macro point of view, we would be able to see how the case of Aung San Suu Kyi called democratic advocates around the world to extend help through either direct or indirect pressures. It is important for us to know how United Nations and other democratically-inclined states such as United States of America acted toward this issue concerning Myanmar. This work is especially significant to people studying governance and government structure. Through this paper, we shall then see how social construction could change the face even of governments with strong military power holding the people in their throats. With this study, we would be able to know how a government should adjust to the demands of the its people and the international community.
Also, this study helps instructors of different political science fields on the level of understanding of students, of around the reporter’s age, to comprehend international political issues such as the case of Aung San Suu Kyi. There are times that instructor-student relationship is infringed due to miscalculations of the prior to his/her students’ capability of grasping deeper topics such as this one. Lastly, the readers would see how Kay Lawson’s theory is applied in the case of Aung San Suu Kyi. We shall later on analyze the different factors that made Aung San Suu Kyi such a democratic advocate in Myanmar amidst oppression of the military regime. Statement of the Problem This research work aims to provide a full-blown discussion and backgrounder on the case of Aung San Suu Kyi and the government of Myanmar. Moreover, this study seeks answers to the following questions:
1. How Aung San Suu Kyi has become a catalyst of Democracy in Myanmar? 2. What are the factors that made her a democratic Advocate? (Using Kay Lawson’s Theory) 3. What are the reactions of the international community especially of the United Nations and the United States of America toward the issue? 4. What conclusions and recommendations will the researcher present to this issue’s conflict resolution? Objectives of the Study The goals of this study are the following: A. Provide a complete background of the conflict in Myanmar where Aung San Suu Kyi is involved.
Supply a fully developed discussion on all sides of the said topic and; Offer a rational and logical ways to achieve conflict resolution
Scope and Delimitation To materialize the goals of this study, the researcher has set-up parameters in which this research paper shall revolve. We shall only dwell on information and related articles that concern our topic of discussion. The researcher made sure that only those data associated with Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi’s fight for democracy in her country will be tackled in this paper. Also, we should not forget the reactions of different parties around the globe especially those that are known to be lobbyists of democracy. Aside from notes that are recognized by the author to be part of other academic researches and/or given facts, rest assured that all opinions, analyses and discussions are from the researcher alone, and they exist in these pages and nowhere else.
Chapter II DISSERTATION’S FRAMEWORKS Theoretical Framework The theory of immobility of fragmentation - The main theory that Hartz aims to purvey is that European migration to other territories led to the formation of fragments of Europe that consequently adopted the political system of the migrants at that said to be their political culture. The European revolution, as the historically inclined should know, went through divergent phases which were reflected in the fragments. These fragments of Europe, whether they came into being during the period when Europe was feudal, radical or liberal, would remain stagnant after the separation from the motherland. In other words, unlike Europe, these newly formed systems would not experience the type of alteration that Europe did. Instead the system would in turn develop into the permanent political culture of that new society. Hartz termed this phenomenon as the “immobilities of fragmentation”. (The civic culture revisited by gabriel a. almond and sydney verba (eds.) While making this paper, the researcher was faced with the question that, what makes people of Myanmar so democratically inclined that despite the military regime that they are under, some of them would still try to push for the absolute retention of the rule of law. The author of this study started to look at the historical side of this case study. Myanmar was then under the British occupation and also, at a very short period of time, with Japan to achieve their liberty. Question, what were the values given by Great Britain to the people of Burma? Perhaps, the theory of “immobility of fragmentation” answers this confusion. When Britain colonized Myanmar, the prior has probably left the influence of liberty, equality and fraternity that simply leads to democracy; Even though we cannot well observe that Britain during their occupation of Myanmar was teaching these values, this phenomenon could be historically supported by the liberalization of most of British colonies toward democracy. This could be a possibility why U Aung
San (Suu Kyi’s father) had the same struggle for liberty at about six decades ago. Indeed, the colonizing whites could have left a democratic psyche amongst Burmese.
Political Socialization Theories by Kay Lawson and Fred Greenstein – These are two different theories with different approaches toward the same body of idea – how people have developed their political behavior. Kay Lawson may well argue that socialization is a lifetime process and is continuous. Greenstein does not refute the idea of time in Kay Lawson’s theory. However, he made a more detailed explanation on how time could be a big factor on shaping one’s political behavior. He divided this by saying that there are macro and micro factors that could interfere to a person’s political identity. He also argued that history could be a very good socializing agent. These theories fit the topic that we have in hand. First of all, it is true that because of her environment or what we call as socializing agents, Aung San Suu Kyi has developed her political identity. Without these agents, most probably Aung San Suu Kyi would have not been the woman we know today. People cannot just argue that Suu Kyi’s mindset is because she is the daughter of Burma’s prominent freedom fighters; but political scientists could well squabble that because of the things around her, Aung San Suu Kyi became the the Aung San Suu Kyi that we know. There have been a lot of peace advocates, freedom fighters and statesmen that we know: Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther, Winston Churchill and many others. Maybe, just maybe, the timing was just right, that like the rest of these prominent figures, Aung San Suu Kyi lives in a time and place where heroism is needed. Since she has the prerequisites of being an absolute peace advocate, the environment just provided a spark for that Nobel Laureate figure in her to come out. This is how environment is so powerful in making the true identity of people go out.
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