Everyday Justice in Myanmar 2020

Everyday Justice in Myanmar 2020 : Challenges and Experiences in the Political Transition

Edited by  , Contributions by  , Contributions by  , Contributions by  , Contributions by  , Contributions by  , Contributions by  , Contributions by  , Contributions by  , Contributions by 

List price: US$85.00

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist


This volume explores how ordinary people in present-day Myanmar obtain justice and resolve disputes and crimes in a time of radical transition in government, politics, society, economy, etc. Its empirical questions serve as a lens to analyze the wider dynamics of state making, the role of identity politics, and the constitution of authority in a country emerging from decades of dictatorship and civil war. Based on a unique collection of ethnographic studies with ordinary people's experiences to the fore, its contributions illustrate that legal pluralism exists in urban as well as rural contexts: from the cities of Yangon and Mawlamyine to the Naga hills, the Pa-O self-administered zone, the Thai refugee camps, and villages in the Karen and Mon states. In all of these places, the official state system is only one among many avenues for people seeking resolution in criminal and civil cases. Indeed, a common practice is to evade the state whenever possible. Most people prefer local and informal resolutions, and therefore the main actors consulted in everyday justice are village elders, local administrators, religious leaders, spiritual actors, and the justice systems or individual members of ethnic organizations. Prevailing are also a range of alternative understandings of (in)justice, misfortunes, and disputes that differ from those of the state-legal system. These alternatives are based on different cultural norms, religious beliefs, and forms of identification. Despite the ongoing transition in Myanmar, the long history of military rule and conflicts based on ethnic divisions continue to foster a mistrust in the state and an orientation towards 'the local' in everyday justice. The book explores these forms of state evasion and what it means more broadly for state-society relations in the current transition.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 408 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 25.4mm | 635.03g
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • English
  • 20 illustrations, 1 map
  • 8776942813
  • 9788776942816
  • 2,133,652

Table of contents

Everyday Justice in the Myanmar Transition

Edited by Helene Maria Kyed


Introduction: Everyday justice in a contested transition
Helene Maria Kyed1

Chapter 1: Forum shopping and plural authorities in southern Mon State
Mi Thang Sorn Poine and Helene Maria Kyed38

Chapter 2: The shadow power of armed actors: justice seeking practices in a rural Pa-O self-administered zone
Mi Thang Sorn Poine and Nan Tin Nilar Win63

Chapter 3: Why is customary law so strong? Political recognition and justice practices in the Naga self-Administered zone
Lue Htar, Myat The Thitsar and Helene Maria Kyed90

Chapter 4: Religious and spiritual non-state authority in a legal plural setting in Karen State
Marie Knakkergaard126

Chapter 5: Dispute resolution and security perceptions among urban Karen: the role of religious and ethnic identity
Lwin Lwin Mon150

Chapter 6: Are we so different? Inter-religious collaboration in a rural Karen-Muslim village in Hpa-An township
Than Pale172

Chapter 7: Being excluded - Muslim and Hindu communities in the Karen State
Mikael Gravers and Anders Baltzer Jorgensen199

Chapter 8: Everyday trepidation: State affects and mental absconding in a marginal neighbourhood in Myanmar
Annika Pohl Harrisson230

Chapter 9: Informal (justice) brokers: Buying, selling, and disputing property in Yangon
Elizabeth Rhoads257

Chapter 10: Everyday justice in Karen refugee camps
Kirsten McConnachie284
show more

About Helene Marie Kyed

Helene Maria Kyed is a senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies. She is head of its research unit and coordinated their EverJust research project in Myanmar between 2015 and 2020. Kyed is trained as a social anthropologist and has done extensive research on policing, informal justice and state formation in Southern Africa and Myanmar. She has published extensively on these topics in international academic journals and scholarly volumes, recently co-editing a special issue of the Independent Journal of Burmese Scholarship on the theme of justice.
show more