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postgraduate thesis: Governing the transition : policy coordination mechanisms in the Myanmar core executive, 2011-2016

TitleGoverning the transition : policy coordination mechanisms in the Myanmar core executive, 2011-2016
Authors
Issue Date2017
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Aung, S. M. T.. (2017). Governing the transition : policy coordination mechanisms in the Myanmar core executive, 2011-2016. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractAfter the 2011 military withdrawal from direct political rule, a vacuum of policy leadership emerged within Myanmar’s transitional core executive. There were few mechanisms in place to hold together the fragmented nation and the coordination devices in operation under a form of the military-back government led by United Solidarity Development Party (USDP). However these were far from being effective. This dissertation addresses the research question: how did policy coordination take place in Myanmar’s transitional core executive after the disappearance of the junta head as a ‘central policy coordination device’? The analytical focus is on the ‘core executive’ – defined by Dunleavy and Rhodes (1990) as “institutions and structures that primarily serve to pull together and integrate central government policies” – of transitional Myanmar. The principal aim of this study is to investigate the workings of the core executive operation of Myanmar during the 5-year period of the USDP government subsequent to the official resignation of the long-standing military junta head. The first year of the transitional core executive is identified as the ‘critical juncture’ under investigation, in which the new core executive experienced brief phases of institutional flux. Among different institutionalist schools of thought, rational choice institutionalism is adopted as the most appropriate theoretical approach for addressing the Myanmar core executive coordination, which took place during and after the critical juncture. In order to investigate whether the transitional core executive experienced ‘stickiness’ of institutional arrangement after the critical juncture, historical perspectives on core executive operations under preceding authoritarian governments are presented along with the legacies left for the transitional core executive. The central theme of the dissertation is then established, which is to study the new and emerging institutions after the regime change in 2011. The 2008 Constitution, a major institution that emerged after 2010, is reviewed, and its implications for key power centres and the transitional core executive are explored. Five policy episodes across the vertical and horizontal coordination spectrums are selected as a means of examining the roles of individuals in responding to incentives and constraints set by the institutional rules. These are: (1) the Myitsone Dam project, (2) the Labour Organisation bill, (3) the Public Service Media bill, (4) the negotiation with Ethnic Armed Groups, and (5) the power contestation between the president and the lower house chairman. The argument is that policy coordination in the transitional core executive should not be simply understood as a product of authoritarian legacies. On the contrary, this dissertation maintains that it was a result of core executive actors’ decisions to abide by the country’s emerging institutions – the 2008 Constitution, the parliament, the party, and the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. Regardless of the substantial democratic shortfalls, the 2008 Constitution functioned well under the transitional core executive. It helped facilitate the actions of some core executive actors while limiting others, and thereby determined the policy coordination process and policy outcomes during the transitional core executive under the USDP government from March 2011 to March 2016.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
Dept/ProgramPolitics and Public Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/240667
HKU Library Item IDb5855014

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorAung, Su Mon, Thazin-
dc.date.accessioned2017-05-09T23:14:53Z-
dc.date.available2017-05-09T23:14:53Z-
dc.date.issued2017-
dc.identifier.citationAung, S. M. T.. (2017). Governing the transition : policy coordination mechanisms in the Myanmar core executive, 2011-2016. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/240667-
dc.description.abstractAfter the 2011 military withdrawal from direct political rule, a vacuum of policy leadership emerged within Myanmar’s transitional core executive. There were few mechanisms in place to hold together the fragmented nation and the coordination devices in operation under a form of the military-back government led by United Solidarity Development Party (USDP). However these were far from being effective. This dissertation addresses the research question: how did policy coordination take place in Myanmar’s transitional core executive after the disappearance of the junta head as a ‘central policy coordination device’? The analytical focus is on the ‘core executive’ – defined by Dunleavy and Rhodes (1990) as “institutions and structures that primarily serve to pull together and integrate central government policies” – of transitional Myanmar. The principal aim of this study is to investigate the workings of the core executive operation of Myanmar during the 5-year period of the USDP government subsequent to the official resignation of the long-standing military junta head. The first year of the transitional core executive is identified as the ‘critical juncture’ under investigation, in which the new core executive experienced brief phases of institutional flux. Among different institutionalist schools of thought, rational choice institutionalism is adopted as the most appropriate theoretical approach for addressing the Myanmar core executive coordination, which took place during and after the critical juncture. In order to investigate whether the transitional core executive experienced ‘stickiness’ of institutional arrangement after the critical juncture, historical perspectives on core executive operations under preceding authoritarian governments are presented along with the legacies left for the transitional core executive. The central theme of the dissertation is then established, which is to study the new and emerging institutions after the regime change in 2011. The 2008 Constitution, a major institution that emerged after 2010, is reviewed, and its implications for key power centres and the transitional core executive are explored. Five policy episodes across the vertical and horizontal coordination spectrums are selected as a means of examining the roles of individuals in responding to incentives and constraints set by the institutional rules. These are: (1) the Myitsone Dam project, (2) the Labour Organisation bill, (3) the Public Service Media bill, (4) the negotiation with Ethnic Armed Groups, and (5) the power contestation between the president and the lower house chairman. The argument is that policy coordination in the transitional core executive should not be simply understood as a product of authoritarian legacies. On the contrary, this dissertation maintains that it was a result of core executive actors’ decisions to abide by the country’s emerging institutions – the 2008 Constitution, the parliament, the party, and the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. Regardless of the substantial democratic shortfalls, the 2008 Constitution functioned well under the transitional core executive. It helped facilitate the actions of some core executive actors while limiting others, and thereby determined the policy coordination process and policy outcomes during the transitional core executive under the USDP government from March 2011 to March 2016.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.titleGoverning the transition : policy coordination mechanisms in the Myanmar core executive, 2011-2016-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5855014-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplinePolitics and Public Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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