The monarchy and its discontents

30 05 2014

Some time ago, PPT posted twice regarding an academic paper by Serhat Unaldi at the Journal of Contemporary Asia. We have just noticed that it is now available for free download having previously been behind a paywall.

The abstract is: This article examines the desacralisation of royal charisma in contemporary Thailand. Over the past few years an underground discourse has emerged among critics of royal ideology and supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra that directly confronts the power of the monarchy. The images, metaphors and linguistic devices used in the process are difficult to study because they rarely appear in public. This article focuses on an unprecedented demonstration of rage against the monarchy on September 19, 2010, when red-shirted demonstrators painted anti-royal graffiti on a construction hoarding at Ratchaprasong intersection in downtown Bangkok. In analysing the Thai political crisis as a battle of different charismatic groups, the article will present the September 19 event as the first open strike against the sacred charisma of the Thai monarchy. This charisma has hitherto been protected by royalists from all walks of life who were “working towards the monarchy.” With their attacks on the monarchy the red-shirts were challenging a legitimacy-conferring system which had benefited wide sections of the Bangkok populace in the past. At the same time, a competing charismatic movement has emerged around Thaksin, who himself has to take into account the charisma he conferred upon his followers.




One response

2 06 2014
The Financial Bourgeoisie in Thailand - - The Thailand Forum

[…] some good reads here, read links in the article http://thaipoliticalprisoners.wordpr…s-discontents/ […]

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