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 â€œpolitical societyâ€ 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.
|Title of host publication||Good Coup Gone Bad: Thailand's Political Developments since Thaksin's Downfall|
|Place of Publication||Singapore|
|Publisher||Institute of Southeast Asian Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|