In the wake of the coup: how Myanmar youth arose to fight for the nation


This e-paper is part of our dossier "Young voices on the rise – Youth and democracy in the Asia-Pacific region".

The Myanmar military coup, on 1 February 2021, devastated the country and the youth have played a leading role in protesting and resisting the military dictatorship. This paper explores Myanmar youth’s motivations for their resistance to the 1 February coup, their imaginations of post-revolution society, and their goals. The paper also attempts to evaluate the many challenges that youth activists are facing in post-coup Myanmar - a state that has again become severely repressive. Based on 34 individual interviews with youth activists involved in the peaceful anti-coup resistance movement in Myanmar, this paper asks: What are the conceptualisations, motivations and expectations held by youth activists participating in the peaceful 2021 anti-coup movement, and what challenges do they face?


The opinions expressed in this e-paper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union, Brussels

December 2021
Herausgegeben von
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union
Sprache der Publikation


1. Introduction

2. Methodology

3. Youth and activism in Myanmar

4. Understanding youth participation

5. Conceptualisations of a post-revolution society

6. Practical challenges

     6.1 Lack of security measures

     6.2 Lack of resources and support

6.3 Lack of influence in key resistance platforms

7. Conclusion


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