About Me

Kyaw Hsan Hlaing is an incoming PhD student in Government at Cornell University and a 2024 recipient of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. Primarily, he studies comparative politics with minors in international relations and political methodology, focusing on regime changes, political violence, authoritarianism, democratic backsliding, and rebel politics, particularly in Southeast Asia.

He is the author of dozens of articles on political transitions, ethnic politics, and issues related to armed rebellions and the 2021 military coup in Myanmar. His works have appeared in more than 20 international outlets, including TIME Magazine, Foreign PolicyThe Los Angeles TimesThe Globe and Mail, Nikkei Asia ReviewAl Jazeera, as well as ISEAS, Stimson Center, and USIP

He contributed as a guest writer for the Pulitzer Centre, focusing on intensive armed conflict in western Burma during 2018-20. He graduated with summa cum laude, earning his BA in Asian Studies and minors in Political Science and Philosophy from The University of Hawai'i at Manoa. He is also a regular contributing writer for The Diplomat Magazine. 

Reach out at kyawhsan@hawaii.edu or kh827@cornell.edu

From refugee to scholar: Mānoa student wins competitive fellowship

A student who fled political persecution in Myanmar is on the brink of earning his BA from the Asian studies department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and has won a highly competitive fellowship to pursue a PhD. Kyaw Hsan Hlaing is one of 30 students, selected from nearly 2,400 applicants in the country, recently awarded the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, which provides him $90,000 in funding for graduate school.

Is Myanmar’s Civil War Pushing the Country Toward Fragmentation?

Resistance forces now face the challenge of building an ethnically inclusive and democratic state, something that no government in Myanmar has ever achieved.

Today, Myanmar stands at a critical juncture in its history. The escalating losses of the Myanmar military due to the coordinated attacks by resistance forces and ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) throughout the country have ignited a pivotal debate, both nationally and internationally, about the country’s future trajectory. Is Myanmar heading toward Fragmentation and Chaos?