Universität Bonn

Abteilung für Südostasienwissenschaft

Takhun Takhun (Richard)

Takhun Takhun (Richard)
© Takhun Takhun (Richard)

2021 – 2025 PhD Doctorate Candidate University of Bonn, Germany
Fields of Research: Political Economy, Sociology, Development Economics, Myanmar, Democracy, Conflicts, Mixed Methods, Comparative Assessment & Empirical Analysis

01/2011 – 08/2013 Masters of Economics; Development Economics, Development of Asian Economy, Environmental Economics, Economic Policy;
Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia

01/2009 – 04/2010 Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, Governance, ASEAN Policy
University of Canberra, Canberra city, Australia

01/1998 – 05/2002 Bachelor of Science
University of Mandalay, Mandalay city, Myanmar (Burma).

2015 – 2019 Country Director, Uplift Myanmar (Microfinance & Social Enterprise), Overall Management of Staff including international expatriate and national staff, Formulating the country strategy in light of political, economic and humanitarian context. Representing to partners, NGOs, local authorities, government authorities and donors.

2014 Research Project Manager, ADB (Asian Development Bank)

2012 – 2013 Research & Teaching Assistant, Curtin University of Technology (Perth, Australia)

Title of Research Topic:
Departing from Democracy: Comparative Analysis of Asian and Western Perceptions on Democracy and Stateness and, the special case of Myanmar’s fall from grace, Coup, Conflicts and Complication

Field & Methodologies:
Political Economy, Sociology, Anthropology, Development Economics, Myanmar, Democracy, Stateness, Conflicts, Mixed Methods, ethnographic research, Comparative Assessment & Empirical Analysis

Democracy may not be the most perfect system but it is, by far, the best out of any other forms that has been tried (Churchill 1947). The classical liberal characteristics of democracy require a multiplicity of parties representing competing policy agendas and clear political alternatives, limitations on governmental authority and guaranteed rights of freedom of expression and association. Out of this rigorous political competition comes good governance and accountability. Western value discourse has changed in two distinct waves, first; a value focus on traditional-religious has shifted towards secular-rational values, but this did not necessarily lead to democracy, second; a shift from material to post-materialist values occurs and an intensifying of the demand for self-expression values is much demanded than before. These democratic transformations were mainly supported by rising education levels which leads to a rising demand for democracy. However, the other side of the argument grows darker with time as with the emergence of non-democratic economic super powers such as China, Russia on the world's stage along with the argument against capitalist driven inequalities in the west, and inequalities in turn amplify a threat to exercising genuine democratic norms - liberty and rights. On the other hand, Evidence suggests that regime type is not the most influential variable explaining degrees of socioeconomic equality. Autocratics argue that they are superior in development planning as they can set long term goals and achieve them by elimination of obstacles by their authoritarian power whereas democracies are constrained by elections, policy changes and cycles with endless debates. For the fragile states and conflict prone states, the world seems to be in failure for external interventions during the last two decades. This factor decidedly lured most transition countries especially in Asia to the general interest of non-Western democracy solutions. Every dictatorship is morally wrong and currently, the norms and idea of ‘Democracy’ is increasingly challenged especially in Asia, but in few places in such a dramatic and brutal fashion as in Myanmar. For most ‘democracy’ researchers, Myanmar became synonymous with the failure of democracy with excessive military dominance and decades-long ethnic conflicts, economic mismanagements, the faulty laws with unaccountable juridical system, wide spread poverty, growing inequality between common citizens and business elites, and deeply rooted bureaucratic practices.

The main purpose of this research is to thoroughly examine why and how have democratic norms and perceptions of the Asia different from western liberal democratic ideology and to determine what factors facilitate the transition of a country towards Democracy. Furthermore, particular studies will be focused on what went wrong with Myanmar’s transition towards liberal and inclusive democracy that would have facilitated political freedom, fundamental rights and economic development

Takhun, R. (2013). Myanmar ’ s Economic policy in Transition : Comparative Assessment & Empirical Analysis.

Takhun, R. (2020).  COVID 19's Economic Impact on Myanmar Tourism and SMEs

AusAid - Full Scholarship to Study Master of Economics in Australia (2011 – 2013)

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