Myths and Realities

This post is also available in: Japanese



15. Myths and Realities: The Democratization of Thai Politics.
Tamada, Yoshifumi. February, 2008.


This award-winning study, now in paperback, traces the roots of Thailand’s current political instability back to the 1990s and challenges the prevailing view that the nation’s democratization process during that decade was led by the active middle class. Tamada 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 the urban lower class, from gaining the hegemony. With a particular focus on ‘passive’ political actors, this book demonstrates that the appeasement of the opponents of democratization is no less crucial than the emergence or empowerment of its proponents. The Japanese original of this publication won an Ohira Masayoshi Memorial Prize in 2003.