Buddhist Monks and Democratic Politics in Contemporary Myanmar

  • Matthew J. Walton


At the beginning of the twentieth century, monks were key actors in propelling Buddhist activism and setting the stage for Burmese nationalism, drawing from Buddhist sources to criticize colonialism and provide religious justification for the independence struggle. After independence in 1948, monks continued to take part in politics, supporting candidates, and pressuring the government to enact policies that benefited the Buddhist community. From 1962 to 2010, successive military governments imposed restrictions that limited the ways in which monks and laypeople could engage in the political realm, although that did not prevent monks from participating in the 1988 demonstrations and leading the 2007 protests that came to be known as the ‘Saffron Revolution.’


Liberal Democracy Public Morality Democratic Politics Moral Practice Military Government 
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© Matthew J. Walton 2016

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  • Matthew J. Walton

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