Richard Roewer

Research Topic:

Democratic Party Formation under Authoritarian Rule
St Antony's College
DPhil Politics

I am a DPhil Politics student at the DPIR and a Research Fellow at the Institute of Asian Studies at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies in Hamburg. I am interested in the formation of democratic parties in authoritarian states, their subsequent institutionalisation process, and the role they play in hybrid regimes. My research focuses on the development of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar. 

I have worked in and on Myanmar for several years and am the Chairman of the Initiative Austausch e.V. (Exchange Initiative), a registered, independent non-profit organisation focusing on political education in Myanmar and exchange between Myanmar and Germany. The Initiative Austausch organises the Political Education Programme for Junior Politicians, the leading political education programme for junior politicians in Myanmar, in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the German Institute of Global and Area Studies. 

I also organised the conference Shaping Past, Present and Future: Political Parties and State Transformation in Myanmar in Yangon, bringing together leading academics to illuminate the role of political parties in Myanmar (for the first time). The conference inspired a special issue in the Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs.


My research interests include:

  • Government,
  • Democracy and Democratisation,
  • Political Parties


I have taught courses on qualitative methodology and regime change in Southeast Asia at the Yangon School of Political Science and regularly prepare briefs on Myanmar politics.

Richard Roewer


Conference Papers and Presentations

  • 2020 EAI Online Seminar Series Roundtable, Seoul, South Korea: '2020 General Election and Democratic Transition in Myanmar' (Sook Jong Lee, Sai Ye Kyaw Swar Myint, Moe Thuzar, Khine Win, R. Roewer).
  • 2020 GIGA Berlin Talk, Berlin, Germany: 'Becoming more authoritarian? Myanmar ahead of the November 2020 elections' (J. Lorch, A. Munz, I. Hossain, R. Roewer).
  • 2019 Public lecture hosted by the Yangon School of Political Science, Yangon, Myanmar: 'Political Parties and Democratic Regime Change in Myanmar'. 
  • 2019 Association of Asian Studies Roundtable, Denver, US: 'Rising Messiahs and Fallen Heroes: Charismatic Politics and Power in Southeast Asia" (S. Lemiere, D. Müller, PJ Thum, J. Liow, T. Llanera, R. Roewer).
  • 2018 Conference "Shaping Past, Present and Future: Political Parties and State Transformation in Myanmar", Yangon, Myanmar: 'Towards a Framework for Analysing Political Parties in Myanmar'. 
  • 2018 International Burma Studies Conference, Bangkok, Thailand: ‘Understanding the NLD’s approach of reduced confrontation with the military’.
  • 2017 Cultivating Peace, Berlin, Germany: 'New Democracy or New Authoritarianism? Myanmar's Political Trajectory'.
  • 2016 GIGA Berlin Talk, Berlin, Germany: 'Religion and Conflict in South(east) Asia: Insights from Bangladesh, India and Myanmar'.
  • 2014 International Burma Studies Conference, Singapore: ‘Finding a Cause – the Role of Religion in the Ethnic Conflict in Rakhine State, Myanmar’.