Post-colonial transition, aid and the cold war in South-East Asia : Britain, the United States and Burma, 1948-1962

Foley, Matthew (2007) Post-colonial transition, aid and the cold war in South-East Asia : Britain, the United States and Burma, 1948-1962. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis charts British and American policy-making towards Burma between the country's independence from the United Kingdom in 1948 and the military coup that ended civilian government in 1962. In particular, it examines the role aid played in Burma's relations with the West and China and the Soviet Union: what it was offered, by whom, when and why, and how its leaders responded. Aid from the West began immediately after independence, when the British furnished the Burmese government with military aid against the communist insurgency that broke out in March 1948. Financial assistance was offered, but refused, in 1950. American help began under Harry Truman's administration, also in 1950, and continued under Dwight D. Eisenhower. Further proposals were developed by John F. Kennedy's administration, although these plans were thwarted by the military coup in 1962.

In giving aid to Burma, British and American planners shared the same basic underlying aim - keeping the government in power and maintaining its independence from the communist bloc. Both believed that the provision of aid gave them some measure of influence over the government in Rangoon - that, in other words, their aid had some degree of coercive potential, somehow independent of the intentions or interests of the recipient state. However, rather than passive and appropriately grateful recipients of external aid, and the policy prescriptions that tended to come with it, the Burmese are revealed as surprisingly active and autonomous agents, prepared to manipulate their aid relationships to suit their own ends, rather than the objectives of their superpower partners in Washington and Moscow.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Jones, M.
Milne, D.
Subjects: D History - General and Old World > DS Asia
E History - America > E151 United States (General)
D History - General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of American and Canadian Studies
Item ID: 11096
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2010 11:07
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 23:10

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