Knowledge – The State and Resistance in Thailand

Conference: AAS-in-Asia2020 (AAS-in-Asia2020)
Title: Knowledge – The State and Resistance in Thailand
Stream: Political Sciences
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation
Trin Aiyara, Walailak University, Thailand (organizer, presenter)
Veerayooth Kanchoochat, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Japan (chair)
Naphon Phumma, Thammasat University, Thailand (presenter)
Tanadej Vechsuruck, University of Rhode Island, United States (presenter)
Anusorn Chaiaksornwet, Waseda University, Japan (presenter)


Recent works on Thai politics have investigated pressing issues such as statecraft and resistance. Privileging the lens of ideology, they have analyzed how different political orientations and discourses shape state policy, claims of legitimacy, as well as resistance from below. This panel looks at these issues through the lens of knowledge. It explores how different kinds of knowledge, including fiscal management, health governance, transportation development, and religious cosmology inform state policies, discourses of legitimacy and resistance. Drawing from different disciplines and areas of expertise, the panelists ask questions including: How have competing ideas about fiscal management shaped certain patterns of state’s spending? How have international crises such as the spread of SARS in 2003 changed the healthcare system? How have transportation development plans reflected contested ideas regarding Thailand’s political and economic priorities? How have opposing camps invoked traditional Buddhist cosmology to legitimize simultaneously military coups and electoral democracy? With all these questions, the panel contributes to ongoing debates on Thai politics, in particular with relation to statecraft, legitimacy, and resistance.