June 17, 2020. Dr. Alex Pelletier & Dr. Jacques Bertrand.

Myanmar’s 2008 Constitution established a more decentralized structure, with partially elected sub-national governments with new financial and administrative functions. Since the 2011 transition and the 2015 civilian-led rule, the Myanmar government continues the working with the 2008 Constitution–rather than replacing it—while pledging to decentralize key areas of policy to local and state governments. As the 2020 election looms now in the horizon, it is time to take stock of how decentralization has advanced in the country.

The talk features Canadian scholars who have undertaken recent fieldwork with local partners in Myanmar’s ethnic states of Chin, Kachin, and Kayin. They will provide their insights about their own work vis-à-vis the upcoming electoral period in Myanmar.

Dr. Alex Pelletier – Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) postdoctoral fellow at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies – Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, focuses on religious violence and ethnic conflicts in Southeast Asia.

Dr. Jacques Bertrand – Director, Collaborative Master’s Specialization in Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies and Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto, focuses on ethnic conflict, nationalism, and democratic politics in Southeast Asia.