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Free BurmaTransnational Legal Action and Corporate Accountability$
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John G. Dale

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816646463

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816646463.001.0001

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Burma’s Struggle for Democracy and Human Rights before 1988

Burma’s Struggle for Democracy and Human Rights before 1988

(p.41) 1 Burma’s Struggle for Democracy and Human Rights before 1988
Free Burma

John G. Dale

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter looks at the history of the Myanmar state’s struggle for democracy and human rights. The country’s initial fears of neocolonization and social disintegration led to an aversion to democracy and human rights, prompting its adoption of discourses on authoritarian developmentalism and cultural relativism. The beginning of Burma’s struggle for democracy and human rights can be associated with Aung San Suu Kyi, who also became the face and symbolic leader of its democratic movement. During the Cold War, Burmese civilian government leaders approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and played a lead role in promoting democracy and human rights around the world, advocating an end to postwar Western and Soviet colonization and imperialism, as well as an alternative vision of global development.

Keywords:   democracy, human rights, Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese democratic movement, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, global development

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