Inequality and Thailand

1 04 2014

A couple of days ago, PPT mentioned a new academic paper on Thailand and networks. A reader points out another recent paper, in the journal Democratization, on inequality and politics in Thailand, by Kevin Hewison of the Asia Research Centre at Murdoch University. The abstract states:

In Thailand, economic inequality has long been a fact of life. It is a “general inequality of condition” that can be seen to influence all aspects of social, economic, and political life. Yet inequality has not always been associated with political activism. Following the 2006 military coup, however, there has been a deliberate and politicized linking of inequality and politics. The article explores a complex of political events – elections, coup, constitution, and the political ascent of Thaksin Shinawatra – that has given rise to a relatively recent politicization of economic and political inequalities, now invoked in street politics – a rhetoric developed amongst pro-Thaksin red shirts that challenged the status quo and generates conflict over the nature of electoral democracy.

Hewison points out that inequality “has existed for a considerable period. In fact, researchers have recounted similar data to that cited above over several decades.” He says that understanding this persistence needs to be understood in terms of policies and practices (“disequalizing effects”) that have been in place for a considerable time, and which contribute to inequality and maintaining it: the role of state policy and capital and its preferences and structural power.

The article is worth reading but is again behind a pay wall, and can only be accessed with a subscription or through an institution with a subscription.

 


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15 10 2014
Updated: Truth? | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] updates at a blog maintained by Kevin Hewison. Back in April, we linked to an article by him on inequality and Thailand’s politics. That article is now available here. We also noted a link to a recent interview with him at the […]

15 10 2014
Updated: Truth? | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] updates at a blog maintained by Kevin Hewison. Back in April, we linked to an article by him on inequality and Thailand’s politics. That article is now available here. We also noted a link to a recent interview with him at the […]