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Spatial Struggles and the Politics of Peace: the Aung San Statue as a Site for Post-War Conflict in Myanmar’s Kayah State
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2400-9144
Swedish Defence University, Stockholm, Sweden.
2021 (English)In: Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, ISSN 1542-3166, E-ISSN 2165-7440, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 275-288Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores processes of place-making and space-making around the erection of the Aung San statue in Kayah state in Myanmar and draws out the competing visions of peace that are articulated through them. The raising of the statue unleashed widespread public protest, which was largely met by repression by the Myanmar authorities. Drawing on interviews, focus groups, and documentary sources, we argue that the statue constitutes an attempt to establish a post-war political order centred on the reassertion of government authority in ethnic minority areas and the creation of unity through the imposition of one national identity. However, the statue has also been appropriated as a key site for the articulation of alternative visions of peace and development. The conflict around the statue thereby makes visible ongoing struggles over the meaning of peace and shows how these post-war struggles are fought on and through space and place.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2021. Vol. 16, no 3, p. 275-288
Keywords [en]
post-war, peace, space, place, monuments, peacebuilding, Kayah/Karenni state, Myanmar
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-178745DOI: 10.1177/1542316620986133Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85099359876OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-178745DiVA, id: diva2:1517799
Part of project
Varieties of Peace, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, M16-0297:1Available from: 2021-01-14 Created: 2021-01-14 Last updated: 2022-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Olivius, ElisabethHedström, Jenny

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