Ashley South has 20 years’ experience as an independent author, researcher and consultant. He has a PhD from the Australian National University, and an MSc from SOAS (University of London), and is a Research Fellow at Chiang Mai University.


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This week - Follow the money: How to pay for governance and administration in post-coup Burma


Watch ‘Myanmar Army on the Ropes’ (produced by me, Yan Naing and Tom Sheahan):

& on the Al Jazeera YouTube channel:




My latest ->  

A new Myanmar is emerging from conflict and climate change - Nikkei Asia, 20-5-2024:

Burmese language translation.



Nancy and the Count: Vampires’ Gold, by Frank Merryfellow

[Ashley South] - The novel which predicted 1027 !


(Frogmort Press, Chiang Mai 2023)

Available in hardback at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and all good bookstores. 

Buy the hardback edition from Barnes & Noble

The e-book [Kindle compatible] is available at Lulu and other e-bookstores.

Buy the e-book from Lulu Bookstore

You can also order the book and learn more about it at the

Frogmort Press website


In Chiang Mai, get hard-copies from Golden Land Solidarity Collective,

in Mae Sot, from Borderline Collective,

and in Bangkok at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand.


Nancy and the Count is a thriller, set in London, Thailand and Burma. The action takes place in an adjacent reality, as climate change begins to kick in – a good time for vampires to re-emerge.

Our heroine Nancy kills an attacking vampire, setting off a chain of adventures. The tale leads through subterranean vaults of the British Museum and encounters with the evil Count and his minions – the bat Sgargov and the tarantula-munching Jikes (a corrupt police officer).

But Nancy has friends and allies – her resurrection man and husband Saw Wah, Prof Potts and his team at the university, the mysterious Van Helsing, and last but not least the brave Karen insurgents of Burma.

There are scenes of terror and violence. Teaming up with her comrades in the revolution, Nancy heads into the war zone – to capture the vampires’ gold, and a sickeningly powerful cache of magic rubies.

The Count is in league with the evil Burmese junta. The enemy attacks in the deepest jungle. Can Nancy and her little team out-fight the forces of evil?

No part of the book was written or produced using AI.



Non-fiction Books

  • 2023 - Conflict, Complexity and Climate Change: emergent federal systems in post-coup Myanmar (Chiang Mai University RCSD-IDRC 2023) 

    Following the 2021 coup, the state of Myanmar is not fragile or failing - it has failed. But a new federal Burma is emerging, from the bottom up.  Ethnic Armed Organizations and civil society networks have globally important roles to play in adapting to and mitigating climate change, by protecting some of the best remaining forests in Southeast Asia. The challenge is to support local resilience while there is still time, amid escalating global crises.

     Hardcopies can be purchased from the Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development, CMU. The e-book – and new Burmese language translation - can be downloaded (public access, free of charge) from the RCSD website:


  • 2021 - Moving Around Myanmar: Migration in, from, and back to Burma, edited by Tony Waters, Ashley South, Chayan Vaddhanaphuti and Luke Corbin (Chiang Mai University Press:
  • 2018 - Citizenship in Myanmar: ways of being in and from Burma, edited by Ashley South and Marie Lall (ISEAS Singapore and Chiang Mai University Press:
  • 2008 [second edition 2010] Ethnic Politics in Burma: States of Conflict (Routledge)
  • 2003 [second edition 2005] – Mon Nationalism and Civil War in Burma: The Golden Sheldrake (RoutledgeCurzon)


Christian and Daoist studies




This short film was presented at the COP-26 Climate Conference (in the Indigenous Peoples Pavilion) on 5 November 2021.   It shows how Karen and Kachin indigenous peoples protect Burma’s forests against the military junta and other threats. This inspiring film features Dr Tu Hkawng (National Unity Government, Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental   Conservation) and Saw Paul Sein Twa (KESAN, the 2020 Goldman Prize Winner), and explains how indigenous people fight climate change and sustain both human communities and ecosystems. Produced by Tom Sheahan and Ashley South.


Chapters in edited volumes

  • 2022 - Evolving climate change governance in Myanmar: Limitations and opportunities in a political crisis, by
    Adam Simpson and Ashley South (in 'Governing Climate Change in Southeast Asia: Critical Perspectives', Routledge - ed. Jens Marquardt, Laurence L. Delina and Mattijs Smits):
  • 2022 - Afterword (in 'Teaching for Peace and Social Justice in Myanmar: identity, agency and critical pedagogy', Bloomsbury - ed Mary Shepherd Wong)
  • 2015 - Governance and Political Legitimacy in the Peace Process (in 'Myanmar: the dynamics of an evolving polity', Lynn Reiner - ed. David Steinberg)
  • 2014 - 3 Chapters in 'Burma/Myanmar: where now?', NIAS Press Copenhagen - eds Mikael Gravers & Flemming Ytzen - PDF [with Charles Petrie] - PDF & PDF
  • 2010Karen Legitimacy and Conflict (in ‘Ruling Myanmar’, Australian National University/ISEAS Singapore - eds Trevor Wilson, Monique Skidmore & Nicholas Cheesman)
  • 2007Conflict and Displacement in Burma/Myanmar (in ‘Myanmar: The State, Society and the Environment’, Australian National University/ISEAS Singapore - eds Trevor Wilson & Monique Skidmore)
  • 2007Ceasefires and Civil Society: The Case of the Mon (in the ‘Exploring Ethnic Diversity in Burma’, NIAS Press - ed. Mikael Gravers) – PDF


Peer-reviewed academic articles

  • 2021 - Towards “Emergent Federalism” in Post-coup Myanmar ('Contemporary Southeast Asia,' Vol43.No.3, December 2021) - PDF Burmese language translation
  • 2021 - Empty Ways: Christian Prayer and Daoist Meditation ('Journal of Daoist Studies', Vol.14 2021) - PDF (slightly revised version of the published article)
  • 2018 - Power Dynamics of Language and Education Policy in Myanmar’s Contested Transition [Marie Lall and Ashley South] ('Comparative Education Review', vol. 62, no. 4)
  • 2018 - Daoism and Peacebuilding: Toward an Agenda for Research and Practice ('Journal of Daoist Studies', Vol.11) -

  • 2017 - “Hybrid Governance” and the Politics of Legitimacy in the Myanmar Peace Process ('Journal of Contemporary Asia') -
  • 2016 - From Rebels to Rulers: The Challenges of Transition for Nonstate Armed Groups in Mindanao and Myanmar [with Christopher M. Joll] ('Critical Asian Studies', Vol.48, No.2) - PDF
  • 2016 - Language, Education and the Peace Process in Myanmar [with Marie Lall] ('Contemporary Southeast Asia' Vol.38, No.1) - PDF
  • 2015 – Forced Migration: typology and agency in Southeast Myanmar [with Kim Jolliffe] (‘Contemporary Southeast Asia’ Vol.37, No.2) – PDF
  • 2013 – Comparing Models of Non-state Ethnic Education in Myanmar: the Mon and Karen national education regimes [with Marie Lall] (‘Journal of Contemporary Asia’)
  • 2012 – The Politics of Protection in Burma: beyond the humanitarian mainstream ('Critical Asian Studies', Vol.44, No.2):
  • 2008 – Civil Society in Burma: The Development of Democracy Amidst Conflict (East-West Centre, Washington – ‘Policy Studies’ No.51) 
  • 2007 – Karen Nationalist Communities: The ‘Problem’ of Diversity (‘Contemporary Southeast Asia’ Vol.29, No.1 - ISEAS/National University of Singapore) – PDF
  • 2007 – Burma: The Changing Nature of Displacement Crises (Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford University, Working Paper No.39) – PDF
  • 2004 – Political Transition in Myanmar: A New Model for Democratization (‘Contemporary Southeast Asia’ Vol.26, No.4 – ISEAS/National University of Singapore) – PDF



            available in English and Burmese languages


Shorter articles


          Burmese language version:

            Burmese translation:

  • January 2014 – Inside the Peace Process, 'The Myanmar Times' - PDF
  • September 2012 – From Ceasefires to Lasting Peace?, 'The Myanmar Times' - PDF
  • September 2012 – China as a New Aid Actor, 'The Global Times' 11-9-2012 - PDF [this is the original article, the published version being somewhat shorter]
  • March 2012 – Resolving Ethnic Conflicts in Burma - Ceasefires to Sustainable Peace,‘The Irrawaddy’ - PDF
  • June 2011 – Burma’s New Challenge , ‘Pacific Forum CSIS’ (PacNet#32) – PDF
  • December 2010 – Post-Election Politics in Burma - Glimmers of Hope? , ‘The Irrawaddy’ – PDF
  • November 2010 – Voting, But Not As We Know It, ‘The World Today’ (Chatham House) – PDF
  • July 2010 – Making the Best of a Bad Election, ‘The Irrawaddy’ – PDF
  • May 2010 – Burma's Electoral Dilemmas, 'The World Today' (Chatham House) - PDF
  • March 2010 – Self-protection and Survival in Southeast Burma, ‘Humanitarian Exchange’ – PDF
  • November 2008 – Economics Crisis and Human Rights, ‘The World Today’ (Chatham House) – PDF
  • August 2008 – Electoral Dilemmas, Independent Mon News Agency commentary (4-8-2008) – PDF
  • July 2008 – Burma after the Cyclone: Making a Disaster Out Of the Cyclone, ‘The World Today’ (Chatham House) – PDF
  • April 2008 – Humanitarian Aid to IDPs in Burma: activities and debates, ‘Forced Migration Review’ (Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford University) – PDF
  • March 2008 – Prospects for Burma’s New Constitution, Independent Mon News Agency commentary (17-3-2008) – PDF
  • February 2008 – Mahn Sha La Phan: Resistance leader of Burma’s Karen people, ‘The Guardian’ obituary (18-2-2008) – PDF
  • December 2007 – Crisis on the Burma Border, ‘The Nation’ (20-12-2007) – PDF
  • October 2007 – Mon Nationalist Movements: insurgency, ceasefires and political struggle – paper presented at ‘Seminar on Discovery of Ramanndesa’, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, (11-10-2007), published by Mon Unity League (Bangkok, January 2008) – PDF
  • August 2007 – What lies ahead for Burma’s cease-fires, ‘The Nation’ (8-1-2007) – PDF
  • October 2006 – The Quest for Karen Unity, ‘The Irrawaddy’ – PDF
  • October 2006 – Border-based Insurgency: Time for a Reality Check, ‘The Irrawaddy’ online – PDF
  • September 2004 – Beyond the National Convention, ‘The Irrawaddy’ – PDF
  • November 2001 – Burma’s  Ex-Insurgents: The Mon Ceasefire and Political Transition, ‘Burma Debate’ (Vol. VIII, Fall 2001) – PDF



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