Surveying public opinion in Burma

BurmaFor years, decades even, professional Burma watchers, activists and other commentators have been making assessments about developments in Burma (Myanmar) on the basis of very little hard information. Government statistics could not be trusted, official spokesmen rarely gave away anything of value and the state-run press largely peddled propaganda. Reports generated outside Burma were often highly politicised and had to be treated carefully.

Since the advent of President Thein Sein, it has been possible to conduct comprehensive surveys that give more reliable snapshots of public opinion. Two such exercises, both conducted by US institutions with the support of foreign governments, stand out.

Dr Andrew Selth, Adjunct Associate Professor at the Griffith Asia Institute, reviews the survey results in his new article for the Lowy Interpreter. Read the full article here.
Photo by Flickr user Francisco Anzola.