Political Authority in Burma's Ethnic Minority States: Devolution, Occupation, and Coexistence


Mary P. Callahan

Policy Studies, No. 31


Washington, D.C.: East-West Center; Singapore: ISEAS Publishing

Available From: and Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 978-981-230-462-9
Binding: paper
Pages: xvi, 94


In Asia, print and electronic versions of this publication may be purchased from ISEAS Publishing; outside Asia, hardcopies of this publication may be purchased from

This study examines the enormous variation and complexity that characterize relationships between the national state and locally-based, often nonstate actors, who negotiate and compete for political authority in Burma's ethnic minority-dominated states along the borders. Three patterns of relationships are explored: devolution, occupation, and coexistence. To understand the complex political arrangements that have arisen, this monograph employs the concept of "emerging political complex"–a set of adaptive networks that link state and other political authorities to domestic and foreign business concerns, traditional indigenous leaders, religious authorities, overseas refugee and diaspora communities, political party leaders, and nongovernmental organizations.