Overturning the alms bowl: the price of survival and the consequences for political legitimacy in Burma
The 2007 demonstrations in Burma posed the greatest threat to military rule there in almost twenty years. The involvement of thousands of monks across the country was of particular concern to the authorities as well as their threat of performing a religious boycott against them. This article traces the importance of Buddhism to the political legitimacy of rulers in Burma and examines how the authorities' relationship with the Sangha has undergone significant changes under military rule. It compares the 2007 demonstrations with earlier protests and examines how the regime's legitimacy has suffered as a result of yet another crackdown, significantly this time against demonstrations led by the largest institution outside of the tatmadaw.
Australian Journal of International Affairs