Burma's Ethnic-Based Citizenship Regime: The Case of the 1982 Citizenship Law

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Sirada Khemanitthathai


The 1982 Burmese Citizenship Law was an instrument of General Ne Win’s Burmese military government in the establishment of the Burmese citizenship regime. It is a law involving with the reproduction of the concept of national races or  “Taingyintha”. As Burma is an ethnically diverse country, the creation of citizenship is a critical part of Burma’s nation-building process, of which complies with only the dominant Burman or Bamar political elites. In this academic article, the author aims to demonstrate three aspects of ethnic-based conflicts in the Burma’s citizenship. Firstly, the politics of classification leads to a hierarchy of citizenship status. Secondly, the construction of national imagination through the concept of nativity or Taingyintha has supported the constructed narrative of the long-established Burma nation since the pre-colonial era, despite the fact that Burma as a modern state was formed after its independence. Thirdly, the article discusses citizenship through ethnic consciousness that reiterates ethnic essentialism.

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How to Cite
Khemanitthathai, S. (2023). Burma’s Ethnic-Based Citizenship Regime: The Case of the 1982 Citizenship Law. Political Science and Public Administration Journal, 14(2), 137–156. Retrieved from https://so05.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/polscicmujournal/article/view/268203
Academic Article


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