Grounding the Coup: Narratives of Praetorianism and Democracy in Myanmar

Myanmar’s rapid change of political fortunes as of yesterday might easily come as woven at the centre of two narratives that seem to have defined Myanmar in the eyes of many: on the one hand, a crashing end to a story of hope and democratic change; on the other, the soft, yet inescapable, thump of a history of military despotism reasserting itself once more. Yet regardless of how political observers seek to fit the military’s re-ascendance to power into various stories of democracy, authoritarian retrenchment, and Myanmar history, it might be best to first spare a thought for what implications the coup carries for Burmese individuals on the ground.

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