Myths and Realities
This study - now in paperback - traces the root of Thailand's current political instability back to the 1990s. It challenges the prevailing view that the nation's democratization process, during the decade, was led by the active middle class. The book argues that the key role played by the middle class was moderation rather than promotion of democracy. The middle class achieved discursive power after the May 1992 incident and prevented the numerical majority of the population - rural residents and urban lower class people - from gaining the hegemony. With competing forces in Thai politics under the microscope, and with a particular focus on 'passive' political actors, Myths and Realities shows that the appeasement of the opponents of democratization is no less crucial than the emergence or empowerment of its proponents. The Japanese original of Myths and Realities won an Ohira Masayoshi Memorial Prize in 2003.
Publication Date: 6/1/2009