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The old is dying and the new cannot be born: Organic crisis, social forces, and the Thai state, 1997-2010

Buddharaksa, Watcharabon (2014) The old is dying and the new cannot be born: Organic crisis, social forces, and the Thai state, 1997-2010. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis is a study of the crisis-ridden social transition of the Thai state (1997-2010) by analysing the interrelations of social forces in the Thai historical bloc. The thesis argues that the recent political conflict in Thailand that reached its peak in 2010 transcended the conflict between the Thaksin government and its social antagonists, or merely the conflict between the Yellow and the Red Shirt forces. Rather, the organic crisis of the Thai state in the recent decade should be seen as social reflections of the unfinished process of social transition. Furthermore, this transition contains features of ‘crises’, ‘restructuring’, ‘transition’ and ‘other crises’ within the transition. The thesis employs a Gramscian account as a major theoretical framework because it stresses the importance of history, provides tools to analyse configurations of social forces, and offers a combined focus of political, social, and ideological matters. This thesis finds that the street fights and violent government repression in May 2010 was only the tip of the iceberg and the incidents of 2010 themselves did not represent a genuine picture of Thailand’s organic crisis. The crisis, this thesis argues, was not caused only by the Thaksin government and its allies. The Thaksin social force should be seen as a part of a broader social transition in which it acted as a ‘social catalyst’ that brought social change to the Thai state in terms of both political economy and socio-ideological elements. Therefore, the crisis of the Thai historical bloc resulted from the clash between the two distinct ‘social relations’―old and new―and the clash is still ongoing. In addition, this thesis has revealed the ‘three’ underlying crisis-ridden characters of the Thai state including social inequality, overwhelming roles of royalism-nationalism, and the harsh application of lèse majesté laws.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Thai Political Economy, Organic Crisis, Crisis of Historical Bloc, Gramsci, Thailand
Academic Units: The University of York > Politics (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.605484
Depositing User: Mr Watcharabon Buddharaksa
Date Deposited: 27 May 2014 12:40
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:30
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6202

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