Democracy and National Identity in Thailand: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Democracy and National Identity in Thailand

1st Edition

By Michael Kelly Connors


284 pages

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Hardback: 9780415272308
pub: 2002-10-17
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pub: 2003-09-02
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This book seeks to illuminate how Thai elites have used democracy as an instrument for order and discipline. Drawing on interviews, numerous Thai language sources, and critical theory, the author reveals a remarkable adaptation of the idea of democracy in the Thai context. Connors shows how elites have drawn on Western political theory to design projects to create modern citizens. He argues that it is possible to see the idea and practice of elite liberal democracy in Thailand, and elsewhere, as a key ideological resource in the project of securing hegemony over undisciplined populations. In this perspective the ideas of civil society, civic virtue, social capital and democracy itself are all part of the weaponry deployed in an effort to create 'good citizens', who act as guardians of the elite defined common good.


'A welcome contribution to the study of modern Thailand.' - Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism

'This is a wonderfully constructed and thought-provoking account of the many elements of modern Thai democracy discourse.' - Journal of Contemporary Asia

About the Author

Michael Kelly Connors is Lecturer in Politics at La Trobe University, Melbourne. He has written articles for journals such as Democratization, Journal of Contemporary Asia and Thamyris, an International Journal of Feminist Inquiry.

About the Series

Rethinking Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is a dynamic and rapidly-changing region which continues to defy predictions and challenge formulaic understandings. This series will publish cutting-edge work on the region, providing a venue for books that are readable, topical, interdisciplinary and critical of conventional views. It aims to communicate the energy, contestations and ambiguities that make Southeast Asia both consistently fascinating and sometimes potentially disturbing.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Australia & New Zealand
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies