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Conversations in Conflict Studies with Kyaw Zeyer Win

400 Eggers Hall, the PARCC Conference Room

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Securitization of the Rohingya Community: Why has the Rohingya problem become intractable?”  Kyaw Zeyer Win, MA-IR Candidate, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.  
In the last five years the Rohingya community has been subject to renewed waves of anti-Muslim propaganda and accompanying violence, killings and systematic marginalization that aim both to permanently disenfranchise and to displace them from their native land. The relaxation of media restrictions alongside the ongoing political liberalization in Myanmar has exacerbated this situation. The brutal ‘clearance operations’ inflicted upon the Rohingya community in 2017 has seen more than 650,000 people flee across the border to Bangladesh amidst reports of extrajudicial killings, sexual violence and arson by Myanmar’s state military Tatmadaw. While the United Nations has declared this to be a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” (UNOHCHR 2017a), the attacks on government targets have validated many Myanmar citizens’ long held belief that the Rohingya pose a threat to their nation and an existential threat to Buddhism, the majority religion. So why has the Rohingya problem become so intractable? I am going to present how over time the Burmese military government “securitized” the ethnic Rohingya community based on different interests and ambitions, portraying the Rohingya ethnic group as an existential threat to the state and society. I then go on to demonstrate how these narratives are reproduced and reinforced by horizontal and bottom-up securitization processes.

Conversations in Conflict Studies is a weekly educational speaker series for students, faculty, and the community. The series, sponsored by PARCC, draws its speakers from Syracuse University faculty, national and international scholars and activists, and PhD students. Pizza is served. Follow us on Twitter @PARCCatMaxwell, tweet #ConvoInConflict.

If you require accommodations, please contact Deborah Toole by email at or by phone at 315.443.2367. 

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