Open Letter Signatories Respond to Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) Statement

To the Institute for Economics and Peace:

Dear Steve Killelea, Board of Directors,

As signatories of the open letter to the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) from 11 May 2022 and scholars specializing in politics and society of Myanmar, we welcome the redaction of the Myanmar section of your Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report.

This could have been an opportunity for the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) to regain trust amongst the people of Myanmar and rebuild its reputation amongst regional experts. Unfortunately, your redaction statement and response to our letter did not make use of this. Neither included an honest reflection about the report’s shortcomings. Nor did you issue an apology to the very people that you had accused of being terrorists. This was and still is a key demand of our open letter.

An apology to Myanmar’s resistance is important for two main reasons:

Firstly, terrorism is the most damaging label one could possibly use for political stakeholders in the 21st century. It is unfortunate that a well-resourced think tank in the Global North thought that it made an adequate label for the resistance against Myanmar’s military dictatorship and its security forces. As explained previously, this also has real-world implications because it plays into the very narrative that the junta uses to justify its atrocities. Myanmar’s resistance deserves an apology in and of itself.

Secondly, nothing in IEP’s explanations given so far indicates that a similar debacle is not bound to happen again in the future. On the contrary, the defense of what seems to be deep-rooted methodological flaws in the GTI itself (rather than simply an issue of data), cautions against the report’s wider findings and IEP’s research more generally. An apology would provide another opportunity for the IEP to reflect more genuinely on the GTI’s shortcomings.

We thus urge the IEP to use this opportunity and issue a more appropriate statement that includes a genuine apology to the people that it wrongfully accused of being terrorists.


Dr Tun Myint, Chair and Professor of the Department of Political Science, Carleton College, Northfield, MN

Dr David Brenner, Lecturer, Department of International Relations, University of Sussex

James C. Scott, Sterling Professor of Political Science and Anthropology, Yale University

Dr Alexandre Pelletier, Assistant Professor, Political Science, Université Laval

Georg Bauer, PhD candidate, Department of History, University of Vienna

Kristian Stokke, Professor, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo

Tual Sawn Khai, PhD Candidate, Sociology and Social Policy, Lingnan University, Hong Kong 

Kyaw MinOo, MA candidate in Southeast Asian Studies, Ohio University 

Luke James Corbin, Myanmar Research Centre, Australian National University

Nicola Tannenbaum, Professor of Anthropology, Lehigh University

Catherine Morris, Independent researcher, and Director of Peacemakers Trust

James Francis Cerretani, Postgraduate Researcher in Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr Mary P. Callahan, Associate Professor, University of Washington

Rosalie Metro, Assistant Teaching Professor, College of Education and Human Development, University of Missouri-Columbia

Martin Smith, author and independent analyst on conflict in Myanmar

Liyun Wendy Choo, Professional Teaching Fellow, University of Auckland

Dr Justine Chambers, Postdoctoral Researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies 

Dr Ashley South, Research Fellow, Chiang Mai University 

Bridget Anderson, Professor of Migration Mobilities and Citizenship University of Bristol

Wen-Chin Chang, Research Fellow, Academia Sinica

Angshuman Choudhury, Senior Research Associate, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi

Minn Tent Bo, London based Independent Consultant focused on human rights, democracy and elections in Myanmar

Dr Francesco Buscemi, Research Fellow, Einaudi Foundation 

David Scott Mathieson, author and independent analyst on conflict in Burma/Myanmar

Dr John Buchanan, Associate, Asia Center, Harvard University

Richard Roewer, Research Fellow, German Institute for Global and Area Studies, DPhil Candidate, University of Oxford 

Dr. Charlie Thame, Assistant Professor of International Relations, Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University 

Aung Kaung Myat, MPhil Candidate, University of Hong Kong

Paul Taylor, Independent Research Consultant

Kirsten McConnachie, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, University of East Anglia, UK

Dr Leanne M. Kelly, Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin University, Melbourne

Dr Anne Décobert, School of Social and Political Studies, The University of Melbourne 

Dr Sharon Bell, Independent Researcher, Aotearoa New Zealand

Prof Anthony Ware, Deakin University, Melbourne

Dorothy Mason, Department of Political and Social Change, Australian National University

Dr Vicki-Ann Ware, Deakin University, Australia

Mike McGovern,  Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan

Dr Susan Banki, Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney

Peter Suante, PhD Researcher, The University of Hong Kong

Dr Kristina Kironska, Senior Researcher, Palacky University Olomouc

Siew Han Yeo, PhD Candidate, University of Toronto

Dr Chika Watanabe, Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology, University of Manchester

Dr Matthew J Walton, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

Alex Moodie, PhD Candidate, School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University

Dr Laurence Cox, Associate Professor in Sociology, National University of Ireland Maynooth

Dominique Dillabough-Lefebvre, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, LSE

Dr Patrick Meehan, Department of Development Studies, SOAS University of London

Dr Jasnea Sarma, University Of Zurich

Dr Ardeth Thawnghmung, Professor, Political Science, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Dr Jonathan Saha, Associate Professor of History, University of Durham

Dr Elliott Prasse-Freeman, Assistant Professor, National U of Singapore

Nora Wuttke, PGR, SOAS University of London

Kei Nemoto, Professor, Sophia University (Tokyo)

Tharaphi Than, Associate Professor, Northern Illinois University 

Htet Min Lwin, PhD student, Department of Humanities, York University, Toronto

Dr Cecile Medail, Visiting Fellow, Political and Social Change, Australian National University

Dr Yuri Takahashi, Lecturer, School of Culture, History and Language, Australian National University 

Dr Johanna Garnett, Lecturer, Peace Studies, University of New England (UNE), Armidale

Dr Elisabeth Olivius, Associate Professor, Political Science, Umeå University

Dr Ronan Lee, Doctoral Prize Fellow, Loughborough University London

Dr Lisa Brooten, Associate Professor, School of Media Arts, Southern Illinois University Carbondale