Burmese Refugee Transnationalism: What Is the Effect?

Inge Brees


Burmese refugees in Thailand maintain economic, social and political links with their country of origin, but these transnational activities are influenced by the politics and level of development of the country of origin and the host country. Through transnational activities, refugees can have a positive impact on the home country by contributing to peace-building and development or they can enhance conflict, as the discussion on community engagement and political transnationalism will illustrate. Clearly, the increased capacity and networks of the Burmese diaspora have bestowed it with a large (future) potential to influence peace-building, development and conflict. Therefore, it is argued here that the various civil, political and military groups in exile should be included in the peace-building process initiated by international actors, next to stakeholders inside the country.

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