Political legitimacy and democracy in Thailand

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Emil Jensen
4. term, Public Administration and Social Science (Master Programme)
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Thailand once again suffered political instability. In April-May 2010, large numbers of demonstrators questioned the legitimacy of the Abhisit gov-ernment until the conflict was finally dissolved by the military in a very violent manner. The roots of the recent turmoil can be found in the 2006 military coup that brought down the democratic elected Thaksin government. The coup that was supported by the Thai establishment and conservative elite had yet again shown its ability to intervene in the Thai political process in order to consolidate its control in the country.
This thesis demonstrates the importance of political legitimacy as a mean for the conservative elite to stay in control. By referring to the discourse of the Abhisit government – advocating that Thailand is a liberal democracy – it is investigated how political legitimacy is achieved by the conservative elite. The thesis argues that traditional norms and values – and especially the mo-narchy – play an important role in this sense. Also it is shown that the discursive use of liberal democracy has an important impact on Thai democratization.
LanguageDanish
Publication date15 Aug 2011
Number of pages102
ID: 55094370