Accession Number:



Repression, Civil Conflict and Leadership Tenure: The Thai Case Study: 2006-2014

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:


Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The global press tells the story of Thailand as dialectic--a power struggle between two groups, the Red Shirts and Yellow Shirts, who have been at odds for years. The Yellow Shirts represent traditional elites from business, government and the military who live in or immediately outside of Bangkok and have benefited from longstanding policies designed to promote the regions economic growth. The Red Shirts include people living outside of Bangkok who come from rural areas and were ignored by government. However, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister, former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, redirected incentives from Bangkok towards regional economic development and tried to move the state to be more responsive to the needy and others. But this story of two competing groups is not the full story it is in fact a tale of democracy gone amuck. The military seized power in both 2006 and 2014, arguing that military rule was the only way to maintain Thailands stability. However, even that story is a bit incomplete the army also acted to preserve the privileged role of both the monarchy and the military in government under the guise of saving democracy. The Thai army has maintained control mainly through political repression and military officials often act with impunity. While violence is rare, the coup leaders have at times used violent means to maintain control and forestall further protest. Thailand does not have a democratic, accountable political system that follows the rule of law. Thai citizens cannot express their views on their government or the monarchy and many Thai citizens fear democracy. Moreover, although the economy is relatively modern and diversified, Thailand does not have effective educational system or economic strategies that can move the economy into the digital age. Although many Thais would like to see Thailand become more democratic, they prefer the stability provided by the coup and distrust elected officials.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement: