Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“

Thinking with, against and without Migratory Models in Myanmar

19. Oktober 2018

Dr. Matthew J. Walton (University of Toronto)

Keynote speech at the workshop "Migratory Models in Myanmar"

Myanmar’s rapid opening during the last decade has resulted in a barrage of political and developmental concepts being deployed by various actors in attempts to better understand (or actively shape) its political transformation. Rarely are these ideas examined beyond their own intellectual genealogies within their own fields, leaving them to float in Burmese spheres without context but still retaining their normative heft. Understanding these migratory models as having histories and trajectories of their own (which do not end once they arrive in Myanmar) can help us to de-naturalize them and assess their validity and effects when they are deployed in development contexts.
This talk will draw on insights from the field of comparative political theory and a range of recent research on Myanmar to examine the dynamics under which these migratory models enter political discourse and development activities in Myanmar; the ways in which they are embraced, integrated, adapted and rejected; as well as the prospects for developing local theoretical models that might not only pertain in Myanmar but could also themselves migrate regionally or globally. It will also weigh, on the one hand, the need to be critical of power imbalances in cross-cultural encounters, against the need to retain a critical perspective on the implicit conceptual models and practices present within Myanmar.

Fri, 19. October 2018, 16:30-18:00
Universität Konstanz, Room Y 311


Dr. Felix Girke, felix.girke[at]uni-konstanz.de