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The Business of Transition
Law Reform, Development and Economics in Myanmar


Melissa Crouch, Michele Ford, Michael Gillan, Htwe Htwe Thein, Adam Simpson, John Dale, David Kyle, Sean Turnell, Matthew Arnold, Josh Wood, Lauren Nishimura, Catherine Renshaw, Tim Frewer
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  • Date Published: February 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108731409

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About the Authors
  • This interdisciplinary volume offers a timely reflection on law, development and economics through empirical and comparative perspectives on contemporary Myanmar. The book explores the business that takes place in times of major political change through law and development initiatives and foreign investment. The expert contributors to this volume identify the ways in which law reform creates new markets, embodies hopes of social transformation and is animated by economic gain. This book is an invitation to think carefully and critically about the intersection between law, development and economics in times of political transition. The chapters speak to a range of common issues - land rights, access to finance, economic development, the role of law including its potential and its limits, and the intersection between local actors, globalised ideas and the international community. This interdisciplinary book is for students, scholars and practitioners of law and development, Asian studies, political science and international relations.

    • The book will appeal to those who seek to challenge and enhance their understanding of law and development
    • Expands the study of law and development through a comparative focus on Myanmar
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is compulsory reading for policy analysts and/or academics interested in the process of business and commercial legal reform. Through the prism of Myanmar - a country at the confluence of geoeconomics, political and economic transition - the contributors to this volume bring to bear theoretical sophistication alongside deep empirical knowledge to explore the business of transition. The book eschews technocratic analysis of legal reform, and instead analyses how social forces such as business, labour, the legal profession as well as political elites and multilateral organisations are engaged in contestations that shape the business of transition. It is essential reading material for anyone wishing to understand the complex dynamics of legal change, not just in Myanmar but in an array transitional economies and polities.' Kanishka Jayasuriya, Murdoch University, Australia

    'Myanmar provides a particularly instructive context for exploring the relationship between law and development as it undergoes two dramatic and simultaneous transitions: from military rule to semi-democracy, and from socialism to a market economy. The essays in this volume make a compelling case that 'best practices' transplanted from foreign jurisdictions provide limited purchase on the unique challenges that such transitions entail and imply more modesty than has often been the case on the part of external agencies in promoting their conception of an appropriate law reform agenda.' Michael Trebilcock, University of Toronto

    'The contributors to this volume, diverse in origin, expertise and experience, blend to give an insightful commentary on and exposition of the present realities and future possibilities of this unique transitional economy. It places contemporary empirical data in a broader context. Its coverage of economic, legal, social, political, moral and humanitarian issues as well as the examination of the interaction between domestic, regional and international regimes make this a book that should be on the shelves of scholarly and business readers alike.' Mary E. Hiscock, Emeritus Professor of Law, Bond University, Australia

    'This is an important book, as the emergence of Myanmar from decades of relative isolation triggers yet another round of debates about the relationship between law and development. The contributors share their wealth of experience with law and business reform projects in the country and enable readers to understand the difficulties and prospects of success.' Christoph Antons, University of Newcastle

    'The Business of Transition offers a new and searching critique of the decades-long enterprise of law and development. Myanmar cross-disciplinary specialists in law and markets superbly question glib conventionalities, boldly encounter intricate complexities, and refuse to be locked into formulaic answers. Through intensive case studies the authors skillfully explore the complex, fraught and sometimes paradoxical interplay between international donors and advisors and domestic actors, whether political elites, businesses, non-profits, civil society or local communities. Every specialist in globalization, law and markets will benefit greatly from thoughtful engagement with this excellent volume as it reveals again the intricacy and particularity of every country's encounter with the transnational and global.' Terence Halliday, Center on Law and Globalization, American Bar Foundation

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108731409
    • dimensions: 230 x 150 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Understanding the business of transition in Myanmar Melissa Crouch
    2. Labour standards and international investment in Myanmar Michele Ford, Michael Gillan and Htwe Htwe Thein
    3. The extractive industries transparency initiative: new openings for civil society in Myanmar Adam Simpson
    4. The risky business of transformation: social enterprise in Myanmar's emerging democracy John Dale and David Kyle
    5. Microfinance in Myanmar: unleashing the potential Sean Turnell
    6. The governance of local businesses in Myanmar: confronting the legacies of military rule Matthew Arnold
    7. Special economic zones: gateway or roadblock to reform? Josh Wood
    8. Facing the concentrated burden of development: local responses to Myanmar's special economic zones Lauren Nishimura
    9. Top-down transitions and the politics of US sanctions Catherine Renshaw
    10. The politics of aid in Myanmar Tim Frewer.

  • Editor

    Melissa Crouch, University of New South Wales, Sydney
    Melissa Crouch is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales, Sydney. She has published extensively on the law and politics of Myanmar.


    Melissa Crouch, Michele Ford, Michael Gillan, Htwe Htwe Thein, Adam Simpson, John Dale, David Kyle, Sean Turnell, Matthew Arnold, Josh Wood, Lauren Nishimura, Catherine Renshaw, Tim Frewer

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