Developing a Way to Influence the Conduct of the Government in Intrastate Conflict: The Case of Myanmar
This chapter examines ASEAN’s role in the settlement of Myanmar’s long-standing political conflict between the military government and the pro-democracy movement. This settlement was achieved by the military government gradually accommodating its political position to that of the pro-democracy Opposition. In this political shift of the Myanmar authorities, ASEAN played a crucial role by effectively influencing the former’s domestic behaviour, despite the regional bloc’s decades-long and firmly entrenched non-interference principle. To understand how ASEAN developed the capability to influence, the chapter looks at several developments within ASEAN including its initiatives. These are ASEAN’s transformation from an elite-centred organisation to a more people-oriented one, its successive policies towards Myanmar and the development of instruments to influence. After conducting five case studies to acquire a grounded understanding of ASEAN influencing work towards Myanmar, the chapter finds that ASEAN was successful in forging what can be called a “mediatory structure” between Myanmar and the international community, in which international pressure on the country was effectively turned into ASEAN’s influencing work.
KeywordsNon-interference principle Constructive engagement Enhanced interaction Foreign Ministers Retreat Influencing Mediatory structure
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