The Parallel Society in Thailand (2001-2014)


The article on the parallel society in Thailand during 2001-2014 is developed from the field research by the authors when the contestation between two rival protest movements still existed. The research focused on the hostility between two major political factions; the conservative middle class based yellow shirts and the rural mass based red shirts. The main task of the research is to find out the factors that tore apart Thai society since the rise of Thaksin government in 2001 until the latest coup de tat in 2014. Hence, the authors employed the qualitative interview and the non-participant observation techniques as tools to collect data from the fields in Chiang Mai and Bangkok. The main objective of the article is to explain the rationale behind the enmity between two different Thai protest movements. The authors founded that the hostility between two major Thai protest movements was a result of their different views on Thai constitutional monarchy system, the different political ideology, the different preferable economic approach and the different views on the reconciliation process. The political ideology of the yellow shirts seemed to lean on the conservatism. Meanwhile, the political ideology of the red shirts seemed to be more liberal but quite radical than the yellow shirts. Beyond that, both political factions also defined the term 'democracy' in different way. The research findings are useful for the understanding of contemporary political conflicts so-called the colour-coded politics in Thailand during 2001-2014.

Author Information
Ram Jotikut, Chiangmai University, Thailand
Nareewan Klinrat, Maejo University, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: ACAS2016
Stream: South-East Asian Studies (including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos)

This paper is part of the ACAS2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon