Regime Change and Foreign Policy

Regime Change and Foreign Policy Regime change and foreign policy adjustments have been closely intertwined in Myanmar’s recent experience. Since 2011, domestic political transition has been paralleled by changes in the country’s foreign policy posture, with Naypyitaw reconsidering its dependence on Beijing while seeking rapprochement with Washington. Taking Myanmar as a case study, this essay aims to address the theoretical issue of how regime change influences the foreign policy of a country. The first two sections draw on Foreign Policy Analysis and Comparative Politics to develop an analytical framework for the study of foreign policy choices during regime change. The focus is on how transitional politics interacts with external influence, against the background of loosened distinctions between the domestic and international levels. The last two sections test the analytical framework against the ups and downs of Myanmar’s economic cooperation with China. Two decisions of the Myanmar government are analysed: the 2011 decision to suspend cooperation on the Myitsone dam, and the 2012 decision to continue cooperation on the Letpadaung mine. While apparently contradictory, Naypyitaw’s behaviour on these two occasions helps to unravel the dilemmas that foreign policy decision-makers face at times of political transition. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of East Asian Studies Brill

Regime Change and Foreign Policy

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright 2015 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.
ISSN
1568-0584
eISSN
1570-0615
D.O.I.
10.1163/15700615-01401009
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Regime change and foreign policy adjustments have been closely intertwined in Myanmar’s recent experience. Since 2011, domestic political transition has been paralleled by changes in the country’s foreign policy posture, with Naypyitaw reconsidering its dependence on Beijing while seeking rapprochement with Washington. Taking Myanmar as a case study, this essay aims to address the theoretical issue of how regime change influences the foreign policy of a country. The first two sections draw on Foreign Policy Analysis and Comparative Politics to develop an analytical framework for the study of foreign policy choices during regime change. The focus is on how transitional politics interacts with external influence, against the background of loosened distinctions between the domestic and international levels. The last two sections test the analytical framework against the ups and downs of Myanmar’s economic cooperation with China. Two decisions of the Myanmar government are analysed: the 2011 decision to suspend cooperation on the Myitsone dam, and the 2012 decision to continue cooperation on the Letpadaung mine. While apparently contradictory, Naypyitaw’s behaviour on these two occasions helps to unravel the dilemmas that foreign policy decision-makers face at times of political transition.

Journal

European Journal of East Asian StudiesBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2015

Keywords: Myanmar; China; foreign policy; regime change

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