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Why is Thailand’s Democracy Susceptible to Dramatic Reversals?

Brooke Forbes, Yip Tsz Kit, Navreen Dhilon

Thailand’s unique democratisation process has seen a patchwork of crisis, corruption, constitution-drafting, monarchy allegiance and military coups. In the post-cold war era, Thailand is joining a movement across South East Asia and separating itself from autocracy, however the process is complex and susceptible to dramatic reversals.

Key concepts: monarchy, democracy,democratisation, liberalisation, revolution, military coup, autocracy

Rundown of Presentation

1. Journey from absolute Monarchy to political revolution
1.1 Political democratization in Thailand from 1973
1.2 1970’s – 1980’s (1973 Siam Revolution to the corrupt rule of Chatchai)
1.3 1997 Constitution: aiming at reinforcing democracy and rectification
1.4 The rise of Thaksin

2. The impact and implications of Thaksin’s leadership 2001-2006 and subsequent 2006 military coup 2.1 The rise of Thaksin Shinawatra 2.2 The National Agenda 2.3 The impact and implications of Thaksin’s Leadership
2.4 Factors that led to the fall of Thaksin Shinawatra

3. Why is Thailand’s democracy is susceptible to reversal?
3.1 Constitutional Change: Does the 2007 Constitution Undermine Democracy?The lingering presence of Thaksin through Yingluck
3.2 The lingering presence of Thaksin through Yingluck
3.3 Vote buying and Money Politics
3.4 Inequality is moral: the information gap hypothesis
3.5 Democracy and Monarchy: are they Contemporary Competing Forces in Thailand?

1. The revolution from above and Thailand 's transition to modernity

1.1 A brief background of Thailand

1.1.1 Geography- Regional differentiation Thailand covers an area of around 513,000 square kilometers, featuring by its mountainous north, agriculturally rich central plains and distinctive peninsula area in the south. 1.1.2 History Thailand is one of the ancient kingdom in Asia.



References: Asian Foundation, ‘Dark Reality of Vote Buying in Thailand’, 2011 http://asiafoundation.org/in-asia/2011/07/13/dark-reality-to-vote-buying-in-thailand/ Conners Michael “When the Dogs Howl: Thailand and the Politics of Democratiz ation”, in Phillip Darby (ed), At the Edge of International Relations: Postcolonialism, Gender and Dependency. London: Pinter, pp. 125-147, 1997. Englehart, Neil A Handley, P. M. The king never smiles: A biography of Thailand 's Bhumibol Adulyadej. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2006 Kai Jager, ‘Why Did Thailand’s Middle-Class Turn Against a Democratically Elected      Government?’, Democratization, 2012. Lipset, S. M.. Political man: The social bases of politics. Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday, 1960. http://www.senate.go.th/th_senate/English/constitution2007.pdf Marco Bünte and Aurel Croissant, ‘The Crisis of Democratic Governance in South East Asia’, 2011 Murashima, Eiji Pasuk Phongpaichit and Chris Baker. “Thaksin, The Business Populism in Thailand”. Chiang Mai, Silkworm Books, 2004 Sidel John The Senate, Kingdom of Thailand, ‘Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand’, 2013 http://www.senate.go.th/th_senate/English/constitution2007.pdf The World Bank, Thailand Review. Retrieved from http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/thailand/overview, 2012. Thitinan Pongsudhirak, ‘Thailand’s Uneasy Passage’, Journal of Democracy, 23(2), April, 2012. Wasi, P. Kandoenthang haeng khwamkit: patriup kanmuang [A Minds’s Journey:  Political Reform]. Bangkok: Mo Chao Ban, 1996.

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