Analysis of Myanmar's official and unofficial trade suggests that the material bases of independent political power have weakened. Concentration of commercial influence in conjunction with Western trade sanctions has curtailed the potential spread of an independent trading class. Declining trade exposure has also diluted the political power of agriculture, Burma's traditional mainstay, to sustain challenges to the regime.
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Errata: In the September/October 2016 issue (volume 56 number 5, pages 836 and 849), there was a technical printing error in Figures 1b and 2 of the article by Ajay Raina that resulted in a loss of data on the graphs. This online article contains the restored figures in their original, correct state. The error is regretted.