Abstract

This dissertation explores the question of whether recurring episodes of violence, forced displacement, and other forms of repression against the ethno-religious sub-nationalist identity group, the Rohingya, across Burma's (Myanmar) modern history, are rooted in the implications of post-colonial nation-building or represent independent and self-contained incidents of communal/ethnic violence. The sub-question of whether the modern construct of the Burmese state accurately fits the description of a modern nation-state or whether other paradigms or ideal types better capture the development of the post-colonial Burmese state, is also explored. By revisiting the main events/national framework which have amounted to the Rohingya's exclusion from Burmese nation-building as well as tracing a historical trajectory of the episodes of violence/forced displacement of the Rohingya against the backdrop of the surrounding political and economic contexts, it is argued that the Rohingya have been targeted as domestic diversionary targets for the Burmese military regime's constant failures in managing the state's economic and financial sectors, defeats in electoral politics, and compromises to its presumed sources of legitimacy and public acceptance. Utilizing the instrumentalist diversionary theory of war, or the scapegoat hypothesis, it is demonstrated that violence against the Rohingya not only falls under a systematic and recurring process of exclusion from post-colonial nation-building but also the development of the Burmese state to resemble a garrison state has facilitated the targeting of the Rohingya as a domestic/territorial diversionary target or option.

School

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department

Political Science Department

Degree Name

MA in Political Science

Graduation Date

Summer 9-17-2019

Submission Date

9-17-2019

First Advisor

Pinfari, Marco

Committee Member 1

Diez, Thomas

Committee Member 2

Delatolla, Andrew

Extent

243 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy. The author has granted the American University in Cairo or its agents a non-exclusive license to archive this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study, and to make it accessible, in whole or in part, in all forms of media, now or hereafter known.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.

Available for download on Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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