The ethno-nationalistic discourses have been dominant in Thailand, a medium-sized country in Southeast Asia during the last twenty years. First it was caused by the international financial crisis in 1997 when the sense of Thai nationalism has strongly made a comeback. Later on, it was instigated by the two military coups in 2006 and 2014 respectively. These two events could be seen as a response towards the external process of globalisation. In this article, it will be argued that because of its complexity and multi-direction, the outcome of globalisation in Thailand, of which both the global and the local are dynamically at plays, has resulted in the sense of both cosmopolitanism and fundamentalism, felt in various ways and differing degrees among people across Thai societies and regional communities. On one hand, the world wide web of information and communication mean that one can affect and learn about life anywhere. It certainly urges the needs to modernise or absorb cosmopolitanism. However, there is also a sense of withdrawal and retreat back to the old nationalistic views, or even fundamentalism, on the other. This is the current reality and the immediate confronting issue that Thailand is faced with before the next general election, which is expected to take place in the coming years, if not months. How Thailand and the Thai citizens react to the globalisation, may shape and influence what this nation will be in the 21st century.
Asawin Nedpogaeo, NIDA, Thailand
Stream: Critical and Cultural Studies, Gender and Communication
This paper is part of the EuroMedia2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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