Myanmar at the Crossroads

Myanmar at the Crossroads

Wednesday 3 March 2021
Wed, 2021-03-03 13:00 - 14:15
  • ©Shutterstock/Kan Sang Tong©Shutterstock/Kan Sang Tong

Myanmar’s pathway out of authoritarianism has been a complex one since the military coup of 1962, with a longstanding fight for freedoms over recent decades and hope of democracy that led in 2012 to the return of civilian rule.

With the victory of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party led by Aung San Suu Kyi at parliament, a troubled transition towards democratic rule was set forth only to be ultimately reverted by the military power again after the coup on February 1st, 2021.

Facing an intense mobilization by civil society, the current developments take place in a context of democratic backsliding in Southeast Asia, driven in part by an increasing competition between economic powers in the region.

Our panelists will discuss the current situation of Myanmar by providing a contextualized analysis on democracy, including perspectives for human rights and governance:

Myanmar at the crossroads:
which are the prospects for democracy, human rights, and governance?

Wednesday 3 March 2021 | 13:00-14:15 CET
Watch the replay of the event 

A panel discussion with:

Michael Köhler, Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General « European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation » (DG ECHO), European Commission, and Sciences Po PSIA faculty member.

Eugénie Mérieau, Research Associate at Sciences Po’s Center for International Studies (CERI) ; Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Asian Legal Studies at the National University of Singapore

Erica Moret, Senior Researcher, Center for Global Governance, Graduate Institute Geneva, and Sciences Po PSIA faculty member.

Welcome remarks by:

Enrico Letta, Dean of the Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA).

Chaired by:

Alvaro Artigas, Associate Researcher at the Center for European Studies and Comparative Policy (CEE) at Sciences Po.




Alvaro Artigas

Associate researcher at the Center for European Studies and Comparative Policy (CEE) at Sciences Po Paris, Lecturer at the Paris School of International Affairs and member of the Urban School's research program "Cities are Back in Town", his research focuses on the complexity of regional and metropolitan development programs infrastructure and their sectoral, environmental and societal consequences. More specifically, he has looked into the coordination of development policies and major dynamics of policy change (Official Development Assistance, big infrastructural programs, big data and ICT, transnational finance ) in South East Asia and Latin America involving services, sustainable growth strategies and social justice. Having carried out an extensive international research sojourn experience (WZB Berlin, PUCP in Sao Paulo, BRICS Policy Center in Rio de Janeiro, Ateneo of Manila and NUS Singapore, IBEI in Barcelona), he has also participated within several research programs:  on infrastructure modernization and energy transition programs in the Pacific Basin (ENPC - LATTS), with Tommaso Vitale (Sciences Po, CEE) and the USPC-NUS consortium on Green Growth programs in South East Asia metropoleis and co-directed the MEGOWAS (Metropolitan Governance of Water Systems) USPC-NUS-El Ateneo of Manila project with the Institute of Water Policy at LKY University in Singapore. He spearheads the MOVIDIG -Movilidades Digitales project with José Maria Castellano (UPF Barcelona) - Innovation Chair of the Universidad Pompeu Fabra on the transformation of digital mobility. 

At PSIA, he teaches a course on "Emerging Economies and Development Strategies in the Global South: From BRICS to Frontier Markets." 

Michael Köhler

Dr Köhler is Deputy Director General at the European Commission’s DG Humanitarian Aid Office - ECHO. He is also a Professor for "Europe and the Mediterranean“ at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium since 1997, and served as senior Fellow of the Center for European Integration Studies at the University of Bonn, Germany, between 2006 and 2016.

In previous positions Dr Köhler served as Director for EU-Neighbourhood Policy at the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) in the European Commission, where he was responsible for cooperation with Mediterranean Arab countries and Israel (2015 to 2019). From 2013 to 2014, he had been Director for the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood in the Directorate-General for development and International Cooperation (DG DEVCO), Head of Cabinet to Commissioner for Energy, Günther H. Oettinger between 2010 and 2013, and Head of Cabinet to Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Dr Joe Borg, between 2008 and 2009. Previously he held various positions in the European Commission, since joining in 1994.

Dr Köhler holds a Dr. phil. in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Hamburg University (1987). He has held teaching commitments at Sorbonne Nouvelle, University Bonn, and the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House). He has authored about thirty books and articles in international Islamic studies and in foreign policy reviews.

At PSIA, he teaches a course on "Building Peace and Resolving Violent Conflict – Lessons Learned From International Interventions."

Eugénie Mérieau

Eugénie Mérieau is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Asian Legal Studies, National University of Singapore and a research associate at CERI - Sciences-Po.

Trained in Political Sciences, Law and Southeast Asian Studies (Sciences-Po, Sorbonne, INALCO, all three in Paris, France), her PhD dissertation, defended in 2017 and entitled "Thai Constitutionalism and Legal Transplants : a study of Kingship", won numerous awards including Chancery of Paris Best 2017 dissertation in Law & Politics.

From 2014 to 2017, she held research and teaching positions at Sciences Po in Paris and Thammasat University in Bangkok. From 2017 to 2019 she was a postdoctoral fellow under the Chair of Comparative Constitutionalism, University of Göttingen in Germany and in 2019 - 2020 (Fall term) she was a visiting postdoctoral researcher with the Institute of Global Law & Policy (IGLP), Harvard Law School.

Fluent in Thai, she has lived for eight years in Asia where she held several positions including Researcher for the King Prajadhipok's Institute under the Thai Parliament and consultant for the Asia-Pacific Office of the International Commission of Jurists.

Her most recent publications have appeared in Asian Journal of Comparative Law, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Southeast Asian Affairs, Buddhism, Law and Society, along more popular venues such as The Atlantic or the New York Times. Her first English-language monograph is forthcoming in 2020 with Hart under the title "Constitutional Bricolage : Thailand's Sacred King versus the Rule of Law".

At Sciences Po, she teaches a course on "Constitutionalism and Democracy in South East Asia" at the Undergraduate College.

Erica Moret

Dr Moret holds a DPhil (PhD) from the University of Oxford, where her thesis focused on the health and socioeconomic impacts of US sanctions on Cuba. A former diplomat, she is also a graduate of France’ Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA), where she specialised on European Union foreign and security policy. Dr Moret is a leading expert on sanctions, including that on Russia, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba, and in connection with humanitarian impacts, financial sector over-compliance or “de-risking”, cyber security, chemical weapons abuses, conflict resolution, nuclear non-proliferation, Brexit, disinformation, new technologies and informal governance. She has served as an independent expert and advisor on sanctions-related matters to the EU and UN (including to the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, UNICEF & the Human Rights Council) as well as to various governments. 

At PSIA, she teaches a course on "International Sanctions in a Shifting Geopolitical Order."


Photo credit ©Shutterstock/Kan Sang Tong. 2021,February,1,Bangkok,Thailand,NLD supporters in Bangkok are protesting outside Myanmar Embassy against the military coup 17.06 Police dissolve rallies in front of the Myanmar embassy Initially.

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