Is China’s Arctic strategy really that chilling?

A Chinese paramilitary police officer stands guard as the Xue Long (Snow Dragon) icebreaker carrying Chinese scientists during their thirtieth Antarctic expedition leaves the polar expedition base dock in Shanghai, China, 7 November 2013. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Adam P. MacDonald

As climatic and environmental changes increase the accessibility of the Arctic, opening up the possibility of shorter shipping lanes and the ability to tap into large natural resource deposits, states within the region and beyond are beginning to look north.

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Myanmar’s precarious political prospects

Supporters of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi hold posters bearing her image as they listen as she speaks during a campaign rally for the National League for Democracy in Yangon on 1 November 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Adam P MacDonald, Halifax

The overwhelming victory of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Myanmar’s November 2015 parliamentary elections has fundamentally altered the political landscape. The NLD captured large seat majorities in both houses of the National Parliament and in all but two of the state and regional assemblies. Read more…

Competition the litmus test for Myanmar’s upcoming election

A Myanmar police officer casts his ballot in advance to Nov. 8 general elections at a government office in Naypyitaw, Myanmar Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. Advance polling commenced in Myanmar on Thursday for those unable to cast a ballot in their electorates on polling day next week, (Photo: AAP).

Author: Adam P. MacDonald, Halifax

Despite numerous concerns surrounding Myanmar’s upcoming election, the most important factor determining its success will be whether the electoral system becomes an arena of genuine competition for political power or remains subject to manipulation for the purposes of regime maintenance. Read more…

An unsteady balance of power likely in Myanmar elections  

Myanmar Lower House Speaker Shwe Mann,  arrives to attend Parliament in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, 18 August 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Adam P. MacDonald, Halifax

Much uncertainty surrounds the lead up to and conduct of Myanmar’s upcoming legislative elections. The recent voting down of constitutional amendments in parliament — almost certainly (and solely) by the bloc of appointed, non-elected military parliamentarians — erodes to a certain extent the legitimacy of the electoral process. Read more…

Myanmar’s military wrangle with a new political reality

Myanmar lawmakers and senior military officials attend a ceremony to mark the 67th anniversary of Myanmar's slain Independence hero and opposition leader General Aung San. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Adam P. MacDonald, Halifax

A number of major issues threaten to degrade, if not entirely disrupt, Myanmar’s elections scheduled for November. These issues include ongoing fighting between the military and various armed ethnic armies, violent social and religious tensions between Buddhists and Muslims, and the lethargic pace of constitutional reforms. Read more…

Only the military can reform Myanmar

Military officers stand during Myanmar’s 68th anniversary celebrations of Armed Forces Day on 27 March 2013. Engaging the military is essential in developing lasting reform. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Adam P MacDonald, Canada

Despite the widespread and rapid normalising of relations with Naypyidaw over the past three years, the US (and the West in general) has been reluctant to engage the country’s military — the Tatmadaw. But the recent signing of the US National Defense Authorization Act for 2015 facilitates the gradual opening of military-to-military relations between the US and Myanmar. Read more…

Is the Myanmar regime splintering?

Members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) work at a souvenir stall beneath posters of Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at the party headquarters in Yangon on 19 November 2014. Suu Kyi's opposition party admitted it 'cannot win' its battle to scrap parts of a junta-era constitution that bars her from Myanmar's presidency. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Adam P MacDonald, Halifax

With one year remaining before Myanmar’s general election there is growing concern, both internationally and domestically, that the reform process is at best beginning to stagnate and at worst rolling back in some critical areas. Read more…