Is Democracy Possible in Thailand?

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2015-4-101-110

N. Rogozhina, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (


The political development of Thailand in XXIth century is characterized by a deep split of the society into opponents and supporters of democratization. The latter are consolidated around the figure of Taksin Sinavatra, the former prime minister. He was overthrown by the military in 2006, but still enjoys the support of the popular majority he gained due to his economic policy aimed at improving the life conditions of the poor in periphery regions. The triumph of his parties in elections since 2001 caused the new power balance in politics traditionally viewed as a focal area of the political establishment – the representatives of the Bangkok upper and middle classes only. The marginalization of their position in the political system and the impossibility of coming to power through elections determined their integration into the anti-government movement, for the purpose of cancelling the representative democracy system that doesn’t meet the interests of the traditional political elite finding itself in a “minority” and unwilling to be under the reign of a “majority”. The deepening of the political crisis provoked the military into undertaking the coup d’état in May 2014 and establishing an authoritarian regime, which ensured the accrescency of power for the traditional elite. Nevertheless, as the author concludes, the future political development of Thailand seems unclear. The power of military in cooperation with their civilian followers is unlikely to reconcile the society, split by class differences and political aspirations. The contemporary political development of Thailand reflects the situation when the “populace” doesn’t want just to remain under control any longer, and the “upper strata” refuses to be under the rule of the electoral majority. The main question raised today is not of the Taksin's destiny, but of an alternative for the Thailand's future political development – restricted democracy directed by upper classes, or representative democracy.


Thailand, democracy, Taksin Sinavatra, political situation, political establishment, military coup d’état, middle class


Registered in system SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Rogozhina N. Is Democracy Possible in Thailand?. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2015, No 4, pp. 101-110.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment

Current Issue
2021, vol. 65, No. 4

Topical Themes of the Issue:

  •  Coronacrisis in the EU: a Knock-Down or a Jump-Off for Integration? 
  •  Latin America in the South-South Cooperation Against the Background of Globalization Controversies 
  •  Reforming the Saudi Economy: Results and Perspectives 
  •  Non-Western Theories of Development in the Global Capitalism Era
  •  About an Attempt to Create a Theory of International Relations in IMEMO in the 1970s
View This Issue (2021, vol. 65, No. 4)
Submit an Article

Dear readers!
Please note that free access to full-text issues of the Journal is being opened at our WEB-site after 6 months of the date of publications.The work on deepening the open archive of full-text issues will be continued.

Dear colleagues, authors and readers!
We kindly request you to turn to editor-in-chief and executive secretary directly concerning reviewing scientific publications in our journal. Only editor-in-chief takes decision on order and publication the reviews!

Dear readers!
This is to inform the researchers of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations that electronic versions of the IV issue of 2020 and I issue of 2021 of French magazine Politique étrangère are now available. Those who are interested, please personally address to the editorial staff of MEMO Journal (room 18-17) with an electronic media.

In response to the challenges of our time the Editorial board continues to open new thematic rubrics:

“World Energy Sector after Pandemic”. We plan to publish articles presenting in-depth analysis of influence of Pandemic on the global energy sector and forecasts of further developments in its various branches.

“Civilization processes of modern development” is a new rubric opened by MEMO Journal in 2020. It will be devoted to the analysis of the influence of civilizational factors and inter-civilizational interactions on the political and socio-economic development of the world at whole, regions and countries.

“Africa today and tomorrow”The rubric devoted to contemporary issues of Africa which is attracting growing interest of the world's leading actors. We plan to publish the articles analyzing the status of statehood, socio-economic and political development of the countries of Black continent, as well as the integration processes between them.


"World Eсonomy and International Relations" announces a contest for the best joint academic publications of domestic and foreign researchers and experts in topical issues of the world economy and international relations. The winners will be selected according to the results of peer reviewing and discussion at the Editorial Board. The articles will be published in priority order.


The print version of “World Economy and International Relations” journal is distributed by advance subscription only, and is not offered for retail sale. To subscribe please address to any post office in Russia by referring to the Federal Postal Service Union Catalogue, section “ARSMI”, the journal index is 70542. The subscription may be made for the whole subscription period or starting from any nearest available month for desired number of issues.

To purchase the full-text electronic version of the journal’s issue/article please address to the WEB portal of Scientific electronic library or URL:

In journal
2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 |

The author’s opinions may not coincide with the position of editorial