WiSi Online 2/2021: Massacre in Myanmar’s Rakhine State

Is there a link between the insurgency of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army’s (ARSA) occurrence and the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya ethnic minority by the state of Myanmar? Further, if so, why did the Defense Services respond to ARSA with these actions?


 In the second issue of the year, Julia Wießmann analyses The Rohingya conflict (2016 and 2017) by using an inductive process tracing analysis within a X-Y-centred research design. The empirical results show that in 2016 ethnic cleansing and in 2017, murderous ethnic cleansing emerged from counterterrorism campaigns in response to ARSA’s terrorist activities. ARSA’s terrorist acts against state institutions (independent variable) constitute a necessary condition for the occurrence of (murderous) ethnic cleansing (dependent variable). In combination with inter-ethnic tensions during a period of democratic transition, the Defense Services long-term weighing of the costs and benefits of suppressing the Rohingya minority led to the observed outcome.