Case #1986.0

Aung San Suu Kyi, Seizing the Moment: Soaring Hopes & Tough Constraints in Myanmar's Unfolding Democracy

Publication Date: May 09, 2013
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Set in the fall of 2012, this leadership case gives students the chance to grapple with the difficult challenges confronting Myanmar's opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, after a rapid turn of fortune that took her, over a period of 14 months, from longtime prisoner of conscience to opposition leader in Parliament, openly discussed as the possible future president of Myanmar. The case describes Suu Kyi's political role in Myanmar during her many years of house arrest and in the two years following her release. Two 3-5-minute video companion pieces (Video A: Aung San Suu Kyi, Icon of Hope and Video B: Aung San Suu Kyi, Seizing the Moment) show, respectively, Suu Kyi's rise as a charismatic leader following her return to Myanmar (1988-1996) and second, her new chapter as a political leader in a fledgling democracy after her release from house arrest (2010-2012). The second video weaves together excerpts from Suu Kyi's September 2012 talk at the Harvard Kennedy School and visuals illustrating political events and general conditions in Myanmar.

Learning Objective:
Together, the written case and video support a discussion of how Suu Kyis role as democracy champion under house arrest must change once she gains a seat in Parliament. The materials set up a rich discussion about how Suu Kyi and her political party, the National League for Democracy, might approach a number of challenges, common to developing countries in transition, including skepticism among military leaders, the weak capacity of civilian government, and the potential for civil unrest. 

Please note: the video portion of this case is included in the teaching plan and is intended for instructors to use in class. Here is more information on how to access teaching plans

Other Details

Teaching Plan:
Available with Educator Access
Case Author:
Pamela Varley
Video Producer:
Patricia Garcia-Rios
Faculty Lead:
Hannah Riley Bowles
Pages (incl. exhibits):
Asia, Myanmar