Compassion and Conquest: Pagan and Ava

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pagan and Ava

Pagan was the earliest kingdom of Burma and thrived under the great king Anniruddha, until it was destroyed by the Mongols.

In his masterful book, "World Conqueror, World Renouncer", Stanley Thambiah describes how the Buddhist kings of mainland Southeast Asia aspired to be Chakravartins, and waged wars of conquest to defend their faith from decline or abuse in the hands of rival monarchs. Nothing symbolizes this duality more strikingly than the Burmese rulers of Ava, which was responsible for the sacking and abandonment of the Thai kingdom of Ayuthia in the 17th century.

A panoramic view of Burma's imperial capital, Pagan

Buddha's Journey



About Me

Amitav Acharya is the UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance and Professor of International Relations at the School of International Service, American University, Washington, D.C. He also chairs American University’s ASEAN Studies Center. Previously, he was Professor of Global Governance at the University of Bristol; Professor at York University, Toronto and at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; and Fellow of the Harvard University Asia Center and Fellow of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has contributed commentaries and op-eds to, International Herald Tribune, Financial Times, Jakarta Post, and Times of India, and been interviewed by CNN International, BBC World Service, CNBC, Channel News Asia, and Al Jazeera TV. Among his recent books are Whose Ideas Matter (Cornell 2009) and Non-Western International Relations Theory (Routledge 2010). His articles have appeared in International Organization, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Asian Studies, and World Politics.