Legacies of Military Rule in Myanmar

  • Uta Gärtner (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


For more than half a century, Myanmar was ruled by the military. Even now, with a civilian government in power, the military exerts considerable political influence and sees its involvement in national politics as a fundamental task alongside defending the sovereignty and integrity of the country. This factual situation logically derives from the origins and development of the armed forces. A key factor seems to have been the period from 1958 to 1962: not only did the military elite experience governing success during the “Caretaker Government”, but also, following the return of authority to civilian political forces, these proved incapable of ensuring the stability and development of the country. The reluctance of the military leadership to fully hand over power to the NLD after the latter won the elections in 2015 seems to reflect the lessons they learned from this experience. This article examines, against the background of history, how the present diarchy evolved and may be seen as a logical feature of transition in the Myanmar Way.


Myanmar, military, history, politics, civil-military relations