Open access journal article by David Malitz examines Thai nationalisms
“A Long-Term View of Thai Nationalisms: From Royal to Civic Nationalism?” by David M. Malitz is now available as an open access article (Asien, No. 164/165, July/October 2022). Rejecting a linear evolution of Thai nationalist ideas, it traces the development of very different political imaginations of a Siamese/Thai political community from the early nineteenth century through the student protests of 2020/2021. It does not consider, therefore, these recent demands for reform of the country’s monarchy to represent a radical rupture with established Thai political culture. Rather, the student protests constitute a new iteration of a long-standing trend of contesting official nationalisms in the country. This is evident in the students’ own symbolic embracing of the history of the Siamese Revolution of 1932. For analytical purposes, the article employs a twofold approach: it differentiates between inclusive and exclusive imaginations of the national community on the one hand and between its democratic versus autocratic political organization on the other.