The Hidden History of Burma: Race, Capitalism, and the Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century
The CSIS Southeast Asia Program is pleased to present The Hidden History of Burma: Race, Capitalism, and the Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century featuring Dr. Thant Myint-U, as part of the CSIS Banyan Tree Leadership Forum. Dr. Thant Myint-U will offer an alternative story of Burma in the 21st century, set within the deeper context of colonialism and anti-colonialism as well as the the more recent past of war, dictatorship, and isolation. He will examine the evolution of thinking on issues of race and identity as well as the evolution of the country’s peculiar political economy, tied intimately since the early 1990s to the anarchic borderlands between Burma and China. He will suggest that Burma, rather than being a simple morality tale between dictators and democrats has become instead a stage for many of the world’s contemporary challenges, from the impact of social media and shifting balances in global power, to soaring inequality, climate change and the rise of ethno-nationalism.
Dr. Thant Myint-U is an award-winning writer, historian, conservationist, and a former advisor to the president of Myanmar. He has served on three United Nations peacekeeping operations, in Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia, and as the head of policy planning under Kofi Annan at the UN Secretariat in New York. The author of four books on Burmese and Asian history, he was educated at Harvard and Cambridge and taught history for several years as a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Since 2007 he has been involved in numerous reform efforts in Burma. He is the founder and chairman of the Yangon Heritage Trust, the Chairman of U Thant House, and a Founding Partner of the Ava Advisory Group.
Copies of The Hidden History of Burma: Race, Capitalism, and the Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century will be available for purchase at the event.
This event was made possible through general support to CSIS.