How did Burma's celebrated transition from dictatorship to democracy lead to horrific violence and international charges of genocide? Acclaimed author and former UN diplomat Thant Myint-U provides an insider’s diagnosis of a country at breaking point in The Hidden History of Burma. In conversation with Melissa Crouch, Thant dissects how fast-rising inequality, social media and deep-seated feelings around race, religion and nationalism conspired to challenge an incipient democracy.

Thant Myint-U (International)

Thant Myint-U

Thant Myint-U was educated at Harvard and Cambridge and taught history from 1995-2000 as a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He has also served on three UN peacekeeping operations (Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia 1992-5) and as the Chief of Policy Planning at the Department of Political Affairs in NY (2003-2006). Since 2007 he's been involved in numerous reform-related efforts in Myanmar, including as a member of the presidential advisory council, a special adviser to the government during negotiations towards the 2015 Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, the founder of the Yangon Heritage Trust, and the chairman of U Thant House. He is the author of four books, including most recently The Hidden History of Burma: Race, Capitalism, and the Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century.

Melissa Crouch (Australian)

Melissa Crouch

Melissa Crouch is Associate Professor at the Law School, the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Her most recent book is The Constitution of Myanmar. She is the editor of several volumes and numerous articles on the politics of law and courts in Southeast Asia. She leads an Australian Research Council Grant on Constitutional Change in Authoritarian Regimes. She is on the council of the Asian Studies Association of Australia and leads the Southeast Asia Law & Policy Forum.