Alternative Title

Case Studies of the Mon and Karen of Burma (Myanmar)


This Independent Studies thesis aims to evaluate the applicability of the five contending theories of nationalism in the context of Southeast Asia. The review of the existing literature of nationalism suggests that each theory have been advocated and used by scholars and researchers and most regarded each theory as grand theories based on their cases and findings. My extensive review of the literature in the study of nationalism provided me with the themes to which I used for operationalizing the applicability of their respective theories. I used a comparative case studies method and selected two case studies to which I controlled for geographic and historical proximity. I hypothesized that if any of their respective themes could be applicable to understand the nationalism of both of the cases, the theory could have a grand explanatory power after all; if the themes could be applicable to understand only one of the cases, then the theory could have some explanatory power; if the themes cannot be applicable to any of the cases, then the theory would have no explanatory power. After my thematic comparative analysis of the case studies, I found that no theories have grand explanatory powers; all theories do have some explanatory power but some more so than others. My research suggests more themes be applied and analyzed for a more efficient comparison of their applicability across more cases in Southeast Asia. My conclusion recommends that primary sources, such as first hand interviews of the nationals of the case studies, be used more so as to better evaluate the applicability of the themes up-to-date with the nationalism of today.


Kille, Kent


Political Science


International Relations


Nationalism, Southeast Asia, Karen, Burma, Myanmar, Mon, Case Study

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2014 Min K. Khant