Becoming More Authoritarian? Myanmar Ahead of the November 2020 Eelections



  • The second national elections since the end of military rule in 2010 are sparking new debates about Myanmar’s political future. Once heralded as a champion of democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), which came to power in 2015, has become increasingly authoritarian. The military continues to block reforms by acting as a veto player in Parliament. Peace with the armed ethnic groups remains elusive, as highlighted by ongoing fighting between the military and the Arakan Army. Meanwhile, the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya has once again alienated Myanmar from the United States and Europe.

    Is the NLD still capable of pushing for meaningful democratic reforms? How do relations between Bangladesh and Myanmar affect the prospects of solving the Rohingya crisis? How much leverage does the international community still have over Myanmar? We will discuss these questions with experts with ample on-site experience.

    Speakers: Richard Roewer is Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies. He is the chairman of Initiative Austausch e.V., an NGO working on political education in Myanmar.

    Ishrat Hossain is Associate of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies. She previously worked as a political analyst in Bangladesh, most recently for UNDP. She has published on the Rohingya crisis and Buddhist–Muslim relations in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

    Discussant: Achim Munz is Country Director of the Hanns Seidel Foundation in Yangon, Myanmar. His work focusses on political dialogue, federal reforms, and sustainable tourism.

    Moderator: Dr. Jasmin Lorch is Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies. Her research interests include political transformations in Southeast Asia and the Maghreb.

    Please confirm your registration by sending an e-mail to All registered participants will receive further information with details on the online event and a link to participate.

    The Chatham House Rule applies to this event.



    The GIGA is taking the coronavirus situation very seriously. Until further notice, all our events take place exclusively in digital space and Team GIGA is working from home. We are pleased to be able to offer you all GIGA products without restriction.


    Sign up to receive email notifications about GIGA activities

    Social Media

    Follow us