Why has Myanmar (Burma), a country rich in resources - rice, timber, minerals - descended to 'least developed country' status? Is the explanation to be found inside Burma or beyond? Is the failure of development due to political authoritarianism and conflict? Or perhaps the drugs trade is partly to blame? This book contends that all these factors have contributed. But it also maintains that the mismanagement of the country's resources is of equal, or even greater, importance. A clear answer to the question of Burma's developmental failure is sought by focussing upon the misuse of resources in concert with those factors that are more usually emphasized.
'We know precious little about Burma, and we should - indeed, need to - know more. Peter Perry's uncompromising and wide-ranging foray into this little known country helps to illuminate Burma's decline and is a valuable and necessary addition to a thin body of work.' Jonathan Rigg, Durham University, UK '…marvelous book that should be welcomed by both lay readers and specialists interested in Myanmar (Burma) in particular and development studies in general…Highly recommended.' Choice 'Peter Perry's Myanmar (Burma) since 1962 is a great addition to the literature on a relatively unknown topic…A geographer by training, Perry provides a different perspective to understanding the roots of Burma's economic crisis…His "integrative" approach, although neither new or revolutionary, is a major contribution to a field that has been predominantly occupied by historians, economists, political scientists, and anthropologists.' SOJOURN: Journal of social Issues in Southeast Asia '[the author's] command of the country's troubled social history and events leading to the current state of developmental failures make this book an invaluable reference for students and researchers of global studies, Southeast Asian history, political studies and Burmese studies,' Political Studies Review '…gives a useful background to anyone wishing to understand how contemporary Burma reached its present parlous state…' Pacific Affairs
Contents: Preface; Looking at Ne Win's Burma: why and how; Looking at Ne Win's Burma: sources and evidence; Ne Win's Burma and its contexts: socialist and military; Ne Win's Burma and its contexts: isolationism, authoritarianism, Buddhism and the popular response; Rice: the failing driving force; Rice: sustained failure and unsustainable success; Teak and timber: primacy by default; Minerals: new profits and old; Distributional crisis: socialism, shopkeepers, and service providers; Distributional crisis: the alternatives; Insurgencies and drugs; What happened next; What now? Afterwords and afterwards; Bibliography; Index.