India’s Democratic Identity and Its Policy towards Myanmar from 1988 to 2010


  • Htwe Hteik Tin Lwin Tsukuba University



Since the 1990s, India has reengaged with Myanmar government. The Indian government’s engagement with Myanmar’s military junta provoked a controversial issue in international community, claiming that ‘the oldest democratic country in Asia' is not doing enough to promote democracy in her neighborhood. The question raised was what has motivated India to develop cordial relations with Myanmar’s military junta. The paper emphasizes the role of India’s democratic identity in Indo-Myanmar policy during 1988-2010. Previous literatures revealed India’s policy towards Myanmar in economic and security assumptions. They tended to sketch India Policy as ‘in-active’ in promotion of democracy practiced from west democratic institutions norms, such as ‘isolation’ and ‘totally disengagement’. The paper briefly explains Indo-Myanmar relations from 1988 to 2010. Security and economic interests play a larger role than the intention to promote democratic identity in Myanmar. The paper argues that in the background of Indo-Myanmar development cooperation, India has made efforts to promote democratic value in Myanmar differently from other western democratic countries. Engagement policy has shaped Indo-Myanmar relations in the 1990s. India ‘engagement policy’, ‘non-isolation’ and ‘development cooperation’ with Myanmar government has brought up contractions. 


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Author Biography

Htwe Hteik Tin Lwin, Tsukuba University

Htwe Hteik Tin Lwin, a Myanmar Diplomat, fulfilled the course of International Relations for Master of International Area Studies at School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan. She is one of the recipients of Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship in 2012. She received her Bachelor of Art in English from Dagon University, Myanmar. She has been in diplomatic service for more than 15 years debuting from attaché. She served at Myanmar Embassy in New Delhi as Third Secretary from 2005-2008 at Political Section.  She is currently serving at Myanmar Embassy in Singapore as in charge of Consular Section.



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