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Book part
Publication date: 28 August 2015

Tsai-wei Sun

The Burmese military has been successful in maintaining its authoritarian rule in the past decades. In 2011, however, the junta shifted its power to civilian government…

Abstract

The Burmese military has been successful in maintaining its authoritarian rule in the past decades. In 2011, however, the junta shifted its power to civilian government despite the absence of severe political pressure from inside or outside. Since then, the new government has introduced many reforms that allow greater political liberty in Burma. This chapter locates the junta’s power shift as part of a wider process of the military consolidating political legitimacy. It argues that as the junta’s power consolidation reached its bottleneck in the 2000s, political reform was imperative as the pre-condition for international legitimacy and economic development. Yet, regarding aspects of the content of the new constitution, military-civilian power relationships, and ethnic minority-central government relations, it remains to be seen whether Burma will move toward actual democratization. For President Thein Sein, one of the big challenges will be satisfying the high expectations of the international community and domestic opposition parties while still being able to control the pace of reform and maintain power.

Details

Asian Leadership in Policy and Governance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-883-0

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Brendan Luyt

The Burma/Myanmar naming controversy on Wikipedia stands as an exemplary debate at least in terms of the politeness and civility of discourse. It was also one of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The Burma/Myanmar naming controversy on Wikipedia stands as an exemplary debate at least in terms of the politeness and civility of discourse. It was also one of the longer running debates on Wikipedia beginning almost at the same time as the creation of the article in 2003. But this debate has other lessons for those interested in one of the world’s key pieces of information infrastructure. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The author’s approach to the study of the Wikipedia talk pages devoted to the Burma/Myanmar naming controversy is qualitative in nature and explores the debate over sources through textual analysis.

Findings

Editors brought to their work a number of underlying assumptions including the primacy of the nation-state and the nature of a “true” encyclopedia. These were combined with a particular interpretation of neutral point of view (NPOV) policy that unnecessarily prolonged the debate and, more importantly, would have the effect, if widely adopted, of reducing Wikipedia’s potential to include multiple perspectives on any particular topic.

Originality/value

The study clearly shows how editors tend to uncritically reproduce the dominant assumptions of their societies. When combined with positivist readings of NPOV policy, this has grave implications for Wikipedia’s potential to open up representation to a wider set of knowledge producers and perspectives. Much of this potential cannot be realized if the assumptions of editors, especially their flawed understanding of NPOV, cannot be challenged effectively.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 73 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 October 2018

Natalie R. Wodniak

The purpose of this paper is to further understand the medical experiences of Karen refugees who have been resettled to the USA. It examines the use of traditional…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to further understand the medical experiences of Karen refugees who have been resettled to the USA. It examines the use of traditional medicine throughout the transition from Burma to the USA, as well as refugees’ experiences in the American healthcare system. This study aims to identify shortcomings in refugees’ access to preferred methods of healthcare.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews were conducted with 39 Karen refugees in 3 US cities with large populations of refugees from Burma – Fort Wayne, Indiana; Amarillo, Texas; and Buffalo, New York. Participants were asked questions about their healthcare experiences in Burma and the USA, their use of traditional medicine in both countries and their satisfaction with medical care in the USA.

Findings

Nearly all interviewees reported using traditional medicine in Burma, but only six felt able to continue to use traditional methods in the USA. Most participants had positive experiences with healthcare in America, but 15 expressed dissatisfaction with obtaining health insurance and confusion over its coverage. Findings also indicate that refugees do not feel that traditional practices are accepted in the USA.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the language barrier, a phone interpreter was used for non-English-speaking participants, which may have affected proper understanding or clarity of answers.

Practical implications

This study brings to attention the need to improve refugee healthcare by encouraging traditional practices and assisting refugees with obtaining health insurance.

Originality/value

This paper identifies the importance of analyzing the accessibility of various forms of healthcare, including traditional medicine, to refugees in the USA.

Details

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9894

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2004

Alfred Oehlers

Current discussions around the lack of progress towards the Millennium Development Goals tend to emphasize deficiencies in governance as a major contributory factor. While…

Abstract

Current discussions around the lack of progress towards the Millennium Development Goals tend to emphasize deficiencies in governance as a major contributory factor. While agreeing with this assessment, this paper takes issue with the conventional understanding of what “governance” implies. Using Burma as an illustration, it suggests the current focus on purely administrative and organizational concerns must be broadened to encompass the wider political context in which these Goals are to be pursued. Authoritarian political structures must be confronted and challenged, if these worthy Goals are to have any realistic chance of being attained.

Details

International Journal of Development Issues, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1446-8956

Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Joshua Finnell

– The purpose of this case study is to discuss and analyze the process of developing and sustaining a multi-institutional digital humanities projects across several institutions.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this case study is to discuss and analyze the process of developing and sustaining a multi-institutional digital humanities projects across several institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study will provide an overview of a multi-institutional digital humanities project from the planning phase to implementation. In particular, this case study will discuss identifying institutional partners, collaborating with a design, designing for curricular integration and best practices for sustaining a project of this size and scope.

Findings

Sustainable collaboration develops slowly over time. Communication and consensus-building are key components to completing and sustaining a multi-institutional digital project. Scalable design is a crucial step in planning for project expansion.

Originality/value

Though many journal articles articulate “best practices” for collaboration among geographically dispersed institutions, very few case studies discuss “best practices” within the context of project development, from initial idea to completion.

Details

Digital Library Perspectives, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5816

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2018

John Lennon

The purpose of this paper is to consider the history and dark tourism attractions associated with a case study of the Thai-Burma Railway in the city of Kanchanaburi…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider the history and dark tourism attractions associated with a case study of the Thai-Burma Railway in the city of Kanchanaburi, Thailand. The paper considers how history has been abridged and distorted at a number of attraction sites in order to exploit the dark tourism commercial potential. The role of film media is considered as a critical element of the site narrative and the reality of the tragic past of this place is discussed within the context of Thailand’s role in the Second World War. Kanchanaburi, through the urban attractions that constitute the primary motivations for visitation, distorts and exploits its dark history for commercial and ideological purposes. Where accurate the Second World War interpretation was identified, it was maintained by balancing the requirements of national governments and institutions with acceptable levels of ambiguity and non-controversial perspectives on this urban location’s dark past.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on literature, historical documents and tourism publications related to the Second World War and the incarceration and forced labour associated with the Thai-Burma Railway and the city of Kanchanaburi. Fieldwork incorporating tourist attraction and commemorative site visitation was undertaken in Northern Thailand in January 2017. Curators, managers, operators and tourist authorities were contacted in advance of the fieldwork by e-mail to request interviews. The sites identified were the primary sites visited by tourists, and no related Second World War site in the area was excluded. For those interviewed in relation to the subject area, a standard questionnaire based on a rolling database, relevant to particular sites was utilised. Interviews were taped and transcribed.

Findings

The city of Kanchanaburi is defined by a heritage that has changed over time. Many factors imbue the meanings and content of place. This is a function of a plethora of competing Influences and agendas; political, economic, cultural, demographic and historical. Yet, this destination is defined by the dark history of the Second World War which is associated with this place. The visitor attraction sites considered in Kanchanaburi provide multiple narratives around the Second World War events. They offer a range of content driven by influences as diverse as simple commercial gain to the complex interaction of political, economic and ideological agendas (cf. Gegner, 2012). In each case, the interpretation is used to articulate heritage through objects, artefacts, audio recording, place or imagery. These elements exist in environment(s) of their creation; the Second World War heritage of Kanchanaburi is developed in a nation that has only a partial and selective acceptance of its role in this conflict. The visitor attractions examined in this research and their content have all re-constructed and re-represented the past. Historical memorialization remains embedded in interests that are global, commercial, ideological but rarely neutral. The interpretation of the Thai-Burma Railway and the narrative of the many victims is associated with the construction merit respect, commemoration and consideration that is value free and not distorted by ideology or commercial imperatives.

Practical implications

This paper provides a foundation for further consideration of how such contested dark heritage is viewed not least by visitors and users. Development of research in this area would provide a valuable source of data on: consumer profiles, motivations and orientation. Relating this data to nationality and origin would provide useful comparative data to that offered by operators and managers of key attractions. Furthermore, the prevalence of social and digital media as primary tourist information source could be measured against the continued (and possibly declining) importance of the filmic narrative. Furthermore, deeper evaluation of nature and content of interpretation is merited, given the range of approaches and content observed. At a political and policy level, the treatment of this part of Thai history and the degree of sensitivity around interpretation is linked to how a nation confronts its difficult past. More thorough evaluation of treatment in national media and education curriculum also merits review. Urban heritage is an important element of urban destination marketing and evaluation based around core themes of transparency, openness, respect for the past, and sensitive treatment of tragic events offer direction for application and evaluation in other urban contexts.

Originality/value

This is the first time the heritage of this city has been considered in the context of dark tourism and the role of Thailand in the Second World War. It incorporates an analysis of all of the relevant attractions in the city and provides through the fieldwork conducted an original contribution to the tourism literature in this field. It draws on historical record, original documentation, interview analysis and tourism data. It provides further evidence of the dark tourism phenomena in a South East Asian context linked to a conflicted and selective appraisal of the past.

Details

International Journal of Tourism Cities, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-5607

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 16 November 2018

Maya Cranitch and Duncan MacLaren

The Thai–Burma refugee program of Australian Catholic University (ACU) brings young Burmese refugees from camps in Thailand to an internet-equipped teaching center to…

Abstract

The Thai–Burma refugee program of Australian Catholic University (ACU) brings young Burmese refugees from camps in Thailand to an internet-equipped teaching center to study for a Diploma in Liberal Studies. Some of the learning is carried out online and some in face-to-face mode provided by ACU or partner universities.

The authors detail the methodologies followed, combining sound pedagogy with an integral human development approach. This changed the students’ mode of learning from rote to critical thinking which, in turn, improved their self-confidence, gave them a good ethical and culturally acceptable grounding and provided them with fluency in oral and written academic English. In addition, the authors recount the many challenges faced by bringing together students from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds with all the baggage brought from a conflict ridden and divided country emerging out of decades of dictatorship.

The program’s results have been remarkable. Many students have found high-quality employment after graduating, especially with non-governmental organizations on the border or in Burma or in some other job serving the needs of their own people. Others have used the Diploma to go on to full degree courses in a number of countries in Asia, North America, and Europe.

Article
Publication date: 30 November 2012

David V. Power and Rebekah J. Pratt

This paper's aim is to describe the health experiences of a recently arrived group of refugees, the Karen from Burma, in an American midwestern city.

511

Abstract

Purpose

This paper's aim is to describe the health experiences of a recently arrived group of refugees, the Karen from Burma, in an American midwestern city.

Design/methodology/approach

Four focus groups were conducted in their native language with 40 Karen refugees: one group of ten Sgaw Karen speaking men and one of women, one of East Pwo Karen speaking men and one of women. The focus groups and two additional individual interviews were coded using NVivo‐9.

Findings

The findings emphasize the significant communication barriers experienced by the Karen. The data provide rich insights into the struggles being experienced by these new Americans in their own words and highlight some of their differences from previous Asian refugees.

Research limitations/implications

These data are derived from focus groups with refugees in one city in the USA with few available demographic details. Their experiences and observations may not apply to other Burmese refugee groups in other cities and countries.

Practical implications

The data emphasize the complexity of language of this group of Burmese refugees which acts as a significant barrier to accessing health care. Poor or improper interpretation has increased obstacles. Data indicate that many struggle with simple health care tasks that are likely taken for granted by most providers. There appears to be more alcohol and tobacco usage amongst both genders than in other recently arrived Asian groups.

Originality/value

This is original research, which supplements a prior chart review and overview paper by the first author and supplements the otherwise scant literature on this group outside Asia.

Details

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9894

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Delivering Victory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-603-5

Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Sarah J. Hoffman and Cheryl L. Robertson

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive perspective of the documented physical and mental health issues Karen refugees from Burma face as a result of war…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive perspective of the documented physical and mental health issues Karen refugees from Burma face as a result of war and refugee trauma, and migration. The review will address the question: What is the impact of trauma and migration on the physical and mental health of Karen refugees?

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 18 articles were systematically selected for inclusion in the final review. The focal content for included articles includes qualitative and quantitative research representative of the health and migration experiences of Karen refugees.

Findings

The findings of this review demonstrate significance for health providers from a public health standpoint as programs and services are targeted to meet the specific health needs of the Karen community. It also highlights the contribution of the Karen forced migration experience to the complexity of individual and community health needs, particularly as a result of the protracted conflict.

Originality/value

This critical appraisal of the body of literature describing the health experiences of Karen refugees from Burma, with a particular focus on outcomes relevant to resettlement, demonstrates value as programs are developed with an integrated refugee perspective.

Details

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9894

Keywords

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