Three temples and two hot air balloons silhouetted against a yellow sky

Myanmar on the Brink

Monday 5th October 2015, 6.30 - 8.00pm; Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speakers: Mark Canning, Jürgen Haacke, Shibani Mahtani; Chair: Danny Quah

In 2010 the world saw in Myanmar both relief and opportunity when - thirteen years after Myanmar achieved ASEAN membership - political and economic reforms began, shifting Myanmar away from isolationist military rule towards civilian government. Even while the depth and degree of these reforms remain unclear, Myanmar, one of Southeast Asia's poorest and most fragile economies, has begun to see easing in its foreign relations, and international trade and investment engagements.

But just as Myanmar's history has long been troubled, with one of the world's longest-running periods of ethnic strife and civil wars, from well before military rule began in 1962, so too Myanmar since 2010 has shown a chequered and fragile landscape of continued religious and ethnic conflict. This November Myanmar goes to the polls. What will determine the outcome of those general elections? How will Myanmar achieve economic success comparable to those of its ASEAN neighbours? 

Download and listen to the podcast here



Mark Canning is Senior Adviser at Bell Pottinger and former UK Ambasssador to Indonesia, ASEAN, Myanmar, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.


Jurgen Haacke is Associate Professor of International Relations at LSE, and Centre Associate at the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre.


Shibani Mahtani is Staff Reporter at the Wall Street Journal. She is based in Yangon, and reports on Myanmar and the rest of Southeast Asia.



Danny Quah is Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre and Professor of Economics and International Development at LSE.