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Revolution as Development

The Karen Self-Determination Struggle Against Ethnocracy (1949 - 2004)

by Jack Fong, Ph.D.

Paperback eBook PDF

Publisher: BrownWalker Press
Pub date: 2008
Pages: 374
ISBN-10: 1599429942
ISBN-13: 9781599429946
Categories: Sociology


The Karen Revolution for self-determination has the distinction of being one of the world's longest-running struggles for freedom, having begun in 1949 and continuing to this very moment. This sociological work makes visible how ethnopolitical, petropolitical, geopolitical, and ecosystemic issues affect the political economy of a people experiencing ethnic cleansing. From the inception of its self-determination struggle in 1949, readers will be taken on a historical journey with the Karen, finally "arriving" in the 21st century. Along the way, the author exposes readers to the anatomy of how Karen revolutionary dynamics attempt to shield the Karen people against internal colonization committed by the various military regimes of Burma, and how these complex dynamics engaged by Karen revolutionaries-in a novel reformulation and reading that transcends oversimplified economisitic indicators of progress-constitute development. A study of revolution that moves beyond the simplicity of a clashing dualism exemplified by Aung San Suu Kyi pitted against the military regime, this text is for readers desiring to examine how other significant players such as the Karen, a proud people living in systemic crisis, construct nation and aspire toward democracy in the labyrinthine ethnopolitical terrain of Burma.

About the Author

Dr. Jack Fong is Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Psychology and Sociology, at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. His political sociological interests revolve around Southeast Asian political change, anti-systemic nationalisms, the role of ethnicity in development, and social transformations and reconfigurations that are associated with systemic crisis.