The impact of the Internet on Myanmar (originally published in May 2001)

Viola Krebs

Abstract


In the present paper, I explore how the Internet has affected the flow of information between in and outside Myanmar (Burma). I show that there is a strong difference between the way information was presented before and after the introduction of the World Wide Web.
Within the last century, the country has been marked by political instability (Eliot, 1997; Freedom House, 2000). Particularly since its separation from British colonial rule in 1948, Burma has witnessed significant political change, violence and unrest. Since the early 1960s, Burma has essentially been an isolated state, with closed borders and a military government. However, the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the Cold War seem to suggest that isolationism is growing less common worldwide. Importantly, meteoric advances in communications have also paralleled the fall of isolationism.
In my study, I examine two political events in Myanmar connected to student uprisings, in the hope of documenting how the Internet - as an easily researched symbol of modern communications - may be affecting the political strategies of one of the last isolated states.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v0i0.1800



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