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Rally Politics

Do digital natives have a different understanding of their own political participation from older generations? What accounts for the progressive sentiments espoused by many Thai Gen Z protesters during the second half of 2020? That's a question I discuss in a 2021 Critical Asian Studies article, part of a special issue I co-edited with Aim Sinpeng.

I've been studying Thai political protests for years: I wrote about Black May 1992 in my PhD-derived book Chamlong Srimuang and the New Thai Politics. Since then I've written articles about the 2008 PAD protests, the 2010 redshirt protests, the 2013-14 PDRC protests and the 2020 anti-government, student-inspired demonstrations.  I coined the term 'rally politics' to describe the phenomenon by which Thailand frequently switches from political business-as-usual to massive street protests, usually aimed at toppling the incumbent government.

Related Publications

Duncan McCargo and Naruemon Thabchumpon, ‘Plural Partisans: Thailand’s People’s Democratic Reform Committee protesters’, Contemporary Southeast Asia, 43, 1, 2021: 125–150.

Aim Sinpeng and Duncan McCargo, ‘Thailand’s 2020 Youth Protests’, Critical Asian Studies, 53, 2, 2021 (edited special journal issue, four articles)

Duncan McCargo, ‘Disruptors’ Dilemma? Thailand’s 2020 Gen Z protests’Critical Asian Studies, 53, 2, 2021.

Duncan McCargo, ‘Two Cheers for Rally Politics’, in Michael J. Montesano et al (eds), Bangkok May 2010: Perspectives on a Divided Thailand, Singapore: ISEAS, 2012, pp. 190–98.

Naruemon Thabchumpon and Duncan McCargo, ‘Urbanized Villagers in the 2010 Redshirt Protests: Not Just Poor Farmers’ Asian Survey, 51, 6, 2011: 993–1018.

Duncan McCargo, ‘Thai Politics as Reality TV’, Journal of Asian Studies, 68, 1, February 2009: 7–19.

Duncan McCargo, Chamlong Srimuang and the New Thai Politics, London and New York: Hurst and St. Martin’s Press, 1997, 334 pp.

Duncan McCargo, ‘The Buds of May’, Index on Censorship, 22, 4, 1993: 3–8.