Myanmar Update 2015: Making Sense of Conflict

5 – 6 June 2015, Australian National University, Canberra

As rapid political, economic and social change in Myanmar continues, the next Myanmar (Burma) Update conference at the Australian National University will occur on Friday, 5 June, and Saturday, 6 June, 2015, ahead of the general elections anticipated for later in the year. Hosted by the Department of Political and Social Change, in the School of International, Political and Strategic Studies, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, the conference has as the theme “Making Sense of Conflict”.

Since the last conference in 2013, Myanmar has succeeded in making progress on many key economic and social reforms, and in certain areas of institution building. At the same time, political, social and armed conflict persists, and in some parts of the country has increased considerably. The continuation of longstanding conflicts in Myanmar raises questions about their persistence and the prospects of efforts to resolve them. Other non-traditional conflicts also are emerging, and are cause for significant concern.

The conference aims to address the breadth and depth of conflicts in Myanmar from a range of angles, offering perspectives of people working on the ground and those studying the country abroad. It presents an opportunity for scholars and practitioners to draw on their research and work in studying and addressing conflict in Myanmar to probe its many layers, and consider the means by which conflict might be resolved. It also enables presenters to draw upon discussions had at the 2013 Update on “Debating Democratisation”, and builds on the outcomes of an event that the ANU held in Myanmar during March 2014, on the theme of communal conflict.

Paper Proposals

The Myanmar (Burma) Update conference conveners invite paper proposals from interested academics, analysts, researchers, and professionals for presentation in one of six sessions: (1) Borderland conflicts and peace negotiations; (2) Communal violence; (3) Resource-based disputes; (4) Contentious politics; (5) Cultural and historical dimensions of conflict; and, (6) a Burmese-language panel, for which proposals can be submitted in Burmese on any one of the preceding themes, following the same format as for English-language papers. The organisers are particularly interested to receive proposals that explore the nuances and intersections between different types of conflict and efforts to resolve them.

In addition to these sessions, the conference will include a keynote address, and Political Update and Economic Update papers, presented by invited speakers.

To submit a proposal, please send a paper title, nominated session and abstract of no more than 400 words together with one-page CV by no later than Friday, 16 January 2015, to mbu@anu.edu.au. Burmese-language submissions should be in Zawgyi and not exceed half a page. Please be aware that only proposals of the highest quality whose contents are consistent with the conference themes will be considered. Those persons whose proposals are accepted will be notified within four weeks after the deadline. The Conference organisers may also request persons whose papers are accepted to revise their proposals in order to address issues not covered by other presenters.

Those persons whose submissions are accepted will be required to submit a first full draft of the paper of between 5000 and 8000 words by Friday, 1 May 2015. A revised draft for publication will be required two months after the Conference in order to meet deadlines for publication.

Student Travel Grants

Graduate research students based in Australia (outside of Canberra) are advised that with the support of the Asian Studies Association of Australia the conference organisers will be offering four travel grants to attend the Update. Further details will be made available closer to the time of the event.

About the Update Series

The Myanmar (Burma) Update is a major venue at which to present cutting-edge scholarship on political and economic affairs in Myanmar. Now in its third decade, it is one of only two longstanding, regularly held international conferences on the country, and is alone in routinely publishing papers presented at the conference. It is one of a range of Update conferences held at the Australian National University on countries across Asia and the Pacific.

Details of previous conferences and publications are available at the Update series website: The Myanmar/Burma update conference series

For further information please contact the convenors:

Dr Nick Cheesman, Research Fellow, Department of Political and Social Change, ANU, nick.cheesman@anu.edu.au, (+612) 6125 0181

Dr Nicholas Farrelly, Research Fellow, School of International, Political and Strategic Studies, ANU, nicholas.farrelly@anu.edu.au (+612) 6125 8220