Protest and Politicized Collective Identity: A Case Study of "Democratic Identity" Dynamics through Protests in Myanmar

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Nattapon Tantrakulsap


Myanmar is one of the countries facing an identity crisis that people are divided on the basis of ethnic identity. This article argues that the protests that have been taking place in Myanmar since independence have led to the formation of a common political identity. This "democratic" identity became completely social identity when the state shared after the 2010 elections. However, President Thein Sein’s government has played an important role in redefining “democracy”. The new definition, however, shows the influence of the military remains in Myanmar's politics. This argument is based on both documentary and field research focusing on documents and interviews with people involved in the 1974, 1988 and 2007 protests, as well as those during President Thein Sein’s rule. Qualitative data analysis was conducted through a framework of "politicized collective identity", which considers the process of identity building as a form of political struggle to create conceptual ideas on the implications of protest and the current Myanmar politics.

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Tantrakulsap, N. (2021). Protest and Politicized Collective Identity: A Case Study of "Democratic Identity" Dynamics through Protests in Myanmar. Political Science and Public Administration Journal, 12(Suppl. 2), 19–38. Retrieved from
Research Article


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