Promoting Human Rights In Burma

Promoting Human Rights In Burma

by Morten B. Pedersen
     
 

Since 1988, when Burma's military rulers crushed a popular uprising, Western governments have promoted democracy as a panacea for the country's manifold development problems, from ethnic conflict to weak governance, human rights abuses, and deep-rooted, structural poverty. Years of escalating censure and sanctions, however, have left the military firmly entrenched

Overview

Since 1988, when Burma's military rulers crushed a popular uprising, Western governments have promoted democracy as a panacea for the country's manifold development problems, from ethnic conflict to weak governance, human rights abuses, and deep-rooted, structural poverty. Years of escalating censure and sanctions, however, have left the military firmly entrenched in power, the opposition marginalized, and the general population suffering from deepening poverty. In the first book-length study of Western human rights policy in Burma, Morten B. Pedersen argues that Western democracy rhetoric has not supplied the solution to these problems. Each year, Burma's human and natural resources are further eroding, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is mounting, and the prospect of turning the situation around is becoming less and less likely. Based on extensive field research, Promoting Human Rights in Burma proposes an alternative model of "critical engagement" that emphasizes more pragmatic efforts to help bring a deeply divided society together and promote socioeconomic development as the basis for longer-term political change. Although the focus is squarely on Burma, the fallacies in Western policy thinking that this case study reveals, as well as the alternative policy framework it offers, have wider relevance for other poor, conflict-ridden countries on the periphery of the global political and economic system.

Editorial Reviews

Japan Times
This thoughtful and provocative book is must reading for anyone with an interest in contemporary Burma and the debates over its future.
founder Zarni
This informative, interesting book calls attention to the West’s sanctions of Burma and how they have become part of the impoverished country's problems. As the West, especially the United States, increasingly imposes economic sanctions on other countries as a first resort, this book will serve as a guide to the possible consequences of these well-meaning policies. Morten Pedersen has done extensive fieldwork to bring this very important topic to light in an accessible and compelling way.
Fall 2008 Pacific Affairs
Morten Pedersen's Promoting Human Rights in Burma: A Critique of Western Sanctions Policy is a finely crafted review of a contentious topic....His research is impeccable....Pedersen offers a cogent analysis.
December 2008 Contemporary Southeast Asia
Pedersen has made a significant contribution....This book is a must read.
Matthew Daley
Morten Pedersen has produced a superbly well grounded and insightful analysis of a difficult topic that inspires intense passion and more than the normal share of myths that obscure fundamental realities. This book could not be more timely. The sadly ineffectual nature of Western policy toward Burma and its unintended, but painfully real, costs to the Burmese people are increasingly acknowledged and a serious rethinking of strategic approaches has begun. Pedersen's work will inform and influence this debate in ways seldom achieved by scholars.
Pacific Affairs
Morten Pedersen's Promoting Human Rights in Burma: A Critique of Western Sanctions Policy is a finely crafted review of a contentious topic. . . . His research is impeccable. . . . Pedersen offers a cogent analysis.
Contemporary Southeast Asia
Pedersen has made a significant contribution. . . . This book is a must read.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780742555594
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
08/01/2007
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.31(w) x 9.26(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Morten B. Pedersen is research fellow in the Peace and Governance Programme at United Nations University.

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