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Title: The Paradox of Identities and Politics: Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar / Burma and the Globalised World
Authors: Teoh Ming Kwang
Issue Date: 6-Apr-2018
Citation: Teoh Ming Kwang (2018-04-06). The Paradox of Identities and Politics: Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar / Burma and the Globalised World. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: ASSK is a popular name that is associated with Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, and Saint Joan on global discursive spaces from 1988 to 2015. Within Burma/Myanmar, she is revered as Amay [Mother] Suu, The Lady, Gaungzamggyi [Big Leader], and Bodhisattva since 1988. After 2015, she is still a prominent name, but for different reasons. In the global discursive spaces, many discourses of ASSK are highly critical of the State Counsellor who is accused of falling short from her global leadership of morality. Whereas in the national discursive spaces, discourses of ASSK are increasingly more divided. Why is there a sharp change in discourses of ASSK after 2015? Why are the same sources of power that helped ASSK from 1988 to 2015 are constraining her today? As the existing literature tends to downplay the significance of individuals in politics of national and global significance, the literature is not adequate in explaining the empirical puzzles. This paper aims to fill the theoretical gap and contributes a systematic analysis of individuals of global and national significance. Using ASSK as an in-depth case study, I will locate the authorship of her global and national identities and show that identities and show that the paradox of identities and politics: it is true that ASSK’s identities provided her with political influence that was necessary for her political quest in Burma, but it is also true that the larger-than-life identities are becoming constraints in delimiting her political actions in Burma/Myanmar today. A broad implication of this study is that its explanatory power to explain the importance of individuals of global and national significance.
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