Nation-Building in Myanmar: The Role of Drug Eradication Schemes

Lomethong, J and Walsh, J 2017, 'Nation-Building in Myanmar: The Role of Drug Eradication Schemes', The Myanmar Journal, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 31-40.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Nation-Building in Myanmar: The Role of Drug Eradication Schemes
Author(s) Lomethong, J
Walsh, J
Year 2017
Journal name The Myanmar Journal
Volume number 4
Issue number 2
Start page 31
End page 40
Total pages 10
Publisher Korea Myanmar Research Association (KOMYRA)
Abstract Production of opium has been problematic in Myanmar for many centuries, particularly in the contemporary era where there has been a shortage of alternative suitable cash crops for subsistence farmers struggling to face the challenges of globalization. Various drug eradication programmes have been tried in the country, often in conjunction with international partners but these have been of limited success because the military government was unwilling to allow access to many parts of the country to observers and, indeed, some parts of the country were not available even to the military government. In addition, local warlords had patronage networks which extended into government circles and caused divided loyalties among at least some of those people charged with eradication. This paper explores the existence and performance of drug eradication schemes in contemporary Myanmar and then argues that none is likely to be successful until steps are taken to raise confidence in peace and stability among all important stakeholders. This, in turn, can only be achieved with nation-building initiatives. It is recognised that the current political settlement is fragile and it is not impossible that democracy will be lost again. The example of the Rohingya refugees and the recent outbreaks of ethnic violence in urban Myanmar show the limits of state institutions and technical capacity in this regard.
Subject Urban Sociology and Community Studies
Keyword(s) drug eradication
state capacity
Copyright notice © KOMYRA 2017
ISSN 2383-6563
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