ISBN: 9788776940027

Democracy and National Identity in Thailand


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Michael Kelly Connors

2007. 310 pp, 15x22 cm

This revised and updated edition of the widely praised Democracy and National Identity in Thailand provides readers with a fascinating discussion of how debates about democracy and national identity in Thailand have evolved from the period of counter-insurgency in the 1960s to the current period. Focusing on state–and civil society–centred democratic projects, Connors uses original Thai language sources to trace how the Thai state developed a democratic ideology that meshed with idealized notions of Thai identity, focusing on the monarchy. The book moves on to explore how non-state actors have mobilized notions of democracy and national identity in their battle against authoritarian rule. It also invites readers to explore democratic ideology as a form of power aimed at creating ideal citizens able to support elite national projects. A ‘must’ for all courses on Southeast Asia, the book also offers valuable insights for all courses dealing with issues of democratization.

About the author

Michael K. Connors teaches politics at La Trobe University in Melbourne.

What other are saying

“This is an important book and deserves a local readership.”—Dr. Chris Baker, co-author of A History of Thailand, in The Bangkok Post

This is “a book that is rich in both detail and analysis. Connors has assembled an impressive array of evidence from primary sources, and he argues his points with eloquence.”—Professor William A. Callahan, University of Manchester, in Democratization

“This is a complex and subtle book that warrants careful reading and re-reading… a wonderfully constructed and thought-provoking account of the many elements of modern Thai democracy discourse. It reflects a deep engagement with Thai language material and, through the careful use of political and social theory, weaves this material into a coherent narrative of the long-term development of democratic ideology… this book is bound to prompt ongoing debate and discussion.” —Dr Andrew Walker, Australian National University, in the Journal of Contemporary Asia

“In this constructively controversial work of political critique, which should be of widely interdisciplinary interest, Michael Connors offers a trenchantly Gramscian reading of ‘democracy’ in Thailand… his intelligent and forceful provocation should engage substantive debate and provoke new avenues of research—as well, perhaps, as internal political critique—for many years to come.” —Professor Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University, in the Journal of Asian Studies