The changing dynamics of the political economy in South and Southeast Asia and their impact on the security of ethno-religious minorities: a case study of Bangladesh and Myanmar
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North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, Meghalaya, India
Presidency University, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Publication date: 2023-07-26
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2021;57:121-139
At the geographical confluence of South and mainland Southeast Asia, connecting three economically vibrant regions of South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia, are located two asymmetric neighbours, the predominantly Buddhist Myanmar and the predominantly Muslim Bangladesh. Although at the exterior both neighbours seem to be distinct in topography, racial composition, and socio-cultural practices, they share similar post-colonial histories and nation forming trajectories, marked by decades of military dictatorship and struggles towards democracy, culminating in similar communal and ethno-religious politics. Initially these policies stemmed from a promise to secure the interests of the majority of the population but have over the decades evolved into regulating minorities’ access to the benefits of citizenship and human rights, thereby rendering the ethno-religious minorities helpless. This paper seeks to comprehensively study the aftermath of the struggle for liberation, post-colonial history and the process of nation-building, to understand how and why ethno-religious identity gained fundamental stature in state politics, and its impact on the security of ethno-religious minorities.
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