Why does anti-Muslim violence take place in Burma now and with what costs? Three related arguments are made to answer the puzzle. Firstly, the pattern, nature, level, frequency, and impact of anti-Muslim violence during the quasi-civilian regime that took power in 2011have changed and been distinct from religious riots in the previous reign. Secondly, both “hardliners” and “reformists” of the transitional regime are complicit in ongoing communal violence in Burma and taking advantage out of it, in contrast to prevailing depiction of the violence as actions of “dark forces” and “hardliners” behind the scene. Thirdly, the paper investigates unprecedented trend, which is an emerging conflicts between Burmese Monastic Order and its lay adherents, that would lead to a societal transformation in the long-run while the immediate and medium-term costs of the religious violence remain to be very devastating.


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pp. 375-397
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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