To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Development failure and the resource curse: the case of Myanmar

David Pick (School of Management, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia)
Htwe Htwe Thein (School of Management, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 22 June 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to examine development failure in Myanmar and explore alternative ways forward.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses a variety of quantitative and qualitative data drawn from sources including newspaper and media accounts from inside and outside Myanmar, reports from NGOs and field observations. The data are analysed using a framework developed by combining the theoretical perspectives of the resource curse and governmentality.

Findings

Evidence of developmental failure in Myanmar is found. The nation is in an economic, social and political mess due to the actions of an incompetent and corrupt robber regime that has misused and misappropriated much of the wealth being produced from the nation's large mineral and energy reserves. Action by the international community has so far proved ineffective in improving the situation.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of this paper is the difficulty in obtaining accurate and reliable official economic and social indicators. However, it does illustrate the value of combining the resource curse thesis and governmentality for understanding development failure.

Practical implications

This research has practical implications in that by illustrating the unsustainable nature of the “grabber governmentality” and providing an alternative “producer governmentality” it is clear that even the most authoritarian regimes are susceptible to change.

Originality/value

The resource curse thesis and governmentality have so far not been used together in the analysis of development. In this paper these concepts provide a way to critically examine the association between resource richness, poor governance and development failure.

Keywords

Citation

Pick, D. and Htwe Thein, H. (2010), "Development failure and the resource curse: the case of Myanmar", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 30 No. 5/6, pp. 267-279. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443331011054235

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited