Dictatorship as occupation in Thailand

Tyrell Haberkorn

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    On 22 May 2014, a junta calling itself the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) launched the 12th coup in Thailand since the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932. The NCPO's rule consolidated into a dictatorship marked by sweeping arrests, arbitrary detention, the criminalization of political participation, and use of military courts to prosecute dissidents. During the three years of rule by the NCPO, the repression of dictatorship has intensified during the royal transition from Rama IX to Rama X. Concerned with the ongoing crisis of rights violations and lack of clear signs of a transition from dictatorship to democracy, this article proposes analyzing the current Thai regime as a form of occupation. The occupation is characterized by the arbitrary exercise of law, citizen complicity, and persistent fear, particularly around Article 112, the law criminalizing lèse majesté. Drawing on the work of Eyal Benvenisti, the article first outlines the broad contours of occupation, then turns to a specific instance of injustice in the exercise of Article 112, next examines the foundational inequality behind citizen complicity in the regime, and finally, reflects on the urgency of analysis given the ongoing expansion of fear and uncertainty.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)338-352
    JournalJournal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law
    Volume49
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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