The Demise of the Civil Society Movement in Thailand: Preliminary Thoughts – a seminar by Assoc Prof Jim Ockey (Wed, 20 January 2010)

Speaker: Assoc Prof Jim Ockey (University of Canterbury)
Date: Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Time: 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Venue: AS3, Level 6, SEAS Seminar Room (06-20)

Synopsis
In 1973, students in Thailand overthrew a longtime dictatorship, a “people’s power” revolution 13 years ahead of that in the Philippines. During the 1980s, those same student leaders watched “their” democracy become sullied by money politics and then fall to a military coup in 1992. They began seeking a way to redeem democracy from corrupt politicians and bureaucrats alike. The result was the Civil Society Movement, led by former student leaders become academics and activists, who set out to change Thai society and politics. The Thaksin regime and the subsequent conflict between Yellow Shirts and Red Shirts has divided the Civil Society Movement, perhaps ending it permanently. We will consider the nature of the movement, its flaws, and its future, in light of the current divide in Thai society and politics.

About the speaker
Jim Ockey is the coordinator of the Department of Political Science at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.