Burma: From blinkered to market-oriented despotism?

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Since a new quasi-parliamentary government led by former army officers began work in Burma (Myanmar) earlier this year, some observers have argued that the government is showing a commitment to bring about, albeit cautiously, reforms that will result in an overall improvement in human rights conditions. The question remains, though, as to whether the new government constitutes the beginning of a real shift from the blinkered despotism of its predecessors to a new form of government, or simply to a type of semi-enlightened and market-oriented despotism, the sort of which has been more common in Asia than the type of outright military domination experienced by Burma for most of the last half-century.