Political Economy: An Overview
Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Myanmar
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This chapter provides a basic overview of Myanmar’s political economy, to help contextualise the rest of this section. It explains the failure of ‘socialist’ development in Myanmar (1947-1988) due to structural problems afflicting many developing less-developed countries. It then explores politicised marketisation processes since 1988. Growth has occurred, consolidating forces loyal to the state. However, growth was concentrated in extractive sectors, cementing Myanmar’s structural position as a producer and exporter of raw commodities. This has generated a rapacious, uneven and often violent mode of development, and a configuration of socio-political forces less amenable to liberal reform than to violent conflict.