Is Peasant Politics in Thailand Civil?

Andrew Walker

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    This chapter asks a simple question: Is peasant politics in Thailand civil? The answer is straightforward: No. Peasant politics in Thailand is not civil if it is judged by many of the established standards which define contemporary civil society, especially its institutionalization and relative autonomy from the state. Rather, I prefer to describe Thailand's modern peasantry as being involved in an active “political society” in which the primary desire is to draw state power into local circuits of exchange by means of diverse, informal and pragmatic relationships. The coup of September 2006 attempted to negate the influence of this non-civil rural politics. It was a failed attempt because it was impossible to reverse powerful economic, social and political developments that have been unfolding over the past fifty years. In order to understand Thailand's tumultuous politics over the past five years, it is necessary to understand the new politics of Thailand's new peasantry.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationGood Coup Gone Bad: Thailand's Political Developments since Thaksin's Downfall
    Editors Pavin Chachavalpongpun
    Place of PublicationSingapore
    PublisherInstitute of Southeast Asian Studies
    Pages199-215pp
    Edition1st
    ISBN (Print)9789814459600
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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