Thailand has had more transitions to, and away from, democracy than any other Asian country. Following the most recent coup d’état in May 2014, Thailand appears poised for another period of authoritarian political tutelage. The political divide has been deep amid increasing income inequality and signs of economic stagnation that indicate how political conflict in an emerging country is deeply associated with its economy and society.
This project seeks to explore the structural, institutional, and ideological underpinnings of Thailand’s political conflict and contentious politics in the past decade. It also aims to provide broader theoretical implications (e.g. democratic and authoritarian theories) as well as general policy lessons for emerging countries.
The project’s first workshop was undertaken successfully at GRIPS in November 2014. The second workshop is planned to be held in June 2015. The expected outputs are: (1) a special issue in the Journal of Contemporary Asia (JCA); and (2) a book manuscript. Both are co-edited by Veerayooth Kanchoochat (GRIPS) and Kevin Hewison (JCA editor and Murdoch University).