Following the draft of a new constitution in 2010 and its coming into effect since January 2011, Myanmar (previously known as Burma) has left behind its military past to become a presidential/constitutional republic (unitary state). By doing so, the junta that had ruled the country for decades formally stepped back in favour of a more democratic form of government. This research project examines this evolving situation, looking for evidence about the advertised positive change. In particular, this is an in-depth study on the domestic socio-political situation that sees peripheral states still fighting for independence/autonomy, ethnic minorities under perpertual attack, and issues about political international pressures and sovereignty. For these reasons, the research focus is on Shan, Kachin, and Kayin states for geographically confined case-studies (e.g. independentist groups, local economic development, trans-boundary issues, border development), while other issues, such as the case of the Rohingya people, the domestic politcal stage, or the illegal trafficking in people and goods are looked at from a broader perspective.