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POLI SCI 3LC3 - Feb 04 2014

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Political Science
Netina Tan

Started on: 02/04/2014 C LASS N OTES FOR : McMaster University, Fall 2013 T UESDAY , F EBRUARY 4, Y Lesson outline - Geography - Socio-economic background - Monarchy - Buddhism & social values - Political system - Key events & people - Challenges of modern Thailand 5 Main regions: central, south, north, northeast and East - North: Mountains, hill tribes, former independent kingdoms poor soil - Northeast:Ari region, harsh climate, subject to floor and droughts // Vietnamese and Khmer influences - East: fruits and tourism - Central: rice bowl ofAsia - South: once part of Srivijaya Empire; crossroad between Islam and Buddhism Thailand shares its border with Burma, Myanmar / Burma / Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia - Elephants are seen as a symbol of prosperity - Map represents the shape of an elephants head and its trunk consists of the Southern peninsula - Border conflict areas - Spill over of internal displace people - Conflict between Cambodia and Thailand - Temple issue, and now the land surrounding the Temple which is in Cambodia Thai-Burmese Borders: • Locations of IDP Camps (Refugee, Internally Displaced Persons) • IDP key trafficking site for women; Thai-Cambodia Temple Dispute - Preah Vihear Temple - 1962 ICJ (International Court of Justice) Ruled that the temple belonged to Cambodia - Now dispute over land surrounding the temple o Dispute right now Cambodia v. Thailand o The dispute in 1959 was centered on the question of sovereignty in the area of Cambodian territory where the ruins of the Temple of Preah Vihear are situated “The Temple”. Thailand raised objections to the jurisdiction of the court, which were rejected in the later judgment of 26 May 1961.  Historical background  Borders that were drawn and designed Thailand: Facts and Figures - Constitutional Monarchy - Area: 514,000 sq. km Angie © McMaster University 1 Fall 2014 Started on: 02/04/2014 - Population: 69million - Capital City: Bangkok - Ethnic group: Thai, Chinese, Other - Religions: Buddhism, Muslim, Christianity, Hinduism - Languages: Thai, English - Monetary Unit: Bhat - Main exports include rice, seafood and live animals, office equipment, textiles and clothing, as well as rubber - Literary rate: 93.8% Thai Culture & Ethnicity - Thailand is often called “the land of smiles” - Formerly known as “Siam” until 1949 - Official language is Thai, but English is widely spoken - Thai: Thai speaking group o Mixed descent of Thai traditions, with Indian, Mongolian and Khmer influences o Thais are of mixed descent, Thai ethnicity more a question of cultural identity than of genetic origin o Agrarian society: village as basic community, habits and customs based on agriculture and religion Thai Script - Devised by King Ramkhamhaeng in 1283 (based on Grantha, an ancient Brahmi Script of south India) - First appeared on stone inscription - Thai borrowed from Pali, Sanskrit and Old Khmer Thai Buddhism - Theravada Tradition // teachings, antidote to consumerism - Thailand - The world’s largest Buddhist population - Buddhism used to unify society and legitimize monarchic power, ideology based on Buddhist thoughts can be a tool to work through the crisis o Buddhasa: dharma is nature and duty o Roles of monks: community development, social activism, social / community service (in addition to spiritual leader) - Buddhism has weakened over the past century o Mostly for rites and ceremonies o Commercialism of Buddhism (animalistic beliefs, magic, merit-making, etc.) Thai worldviews - Shaped by (“popular”) Buddhism - Law of Karma (volitional acts) o Every action has consequences o State of one’s existence, outcome of one’s karma in a previous life o Cycles of rebirth, reincarnations o Uncertainty and transiency of all things o Tolerance, accepting fate o Belief of supernatural powers - Social values and social relations, social hierarchy (rank and authority): patron-client, senior- junior 2 Started on: 02/04/2014 o Hierarchy is believed to result from accumulated past “karma” - the higher, the merit, the higher one’s status o Reciprocity of favors-responsibilities “gratefulness” o Avoid of conflict and confrontation o Avoid the loss of “face” o Forgiving nature “mai pen rai” o Fun loving (“sanuk”) Political History - The only country in Southeast Asia never colonized, formerly known as Siam - Prior to 1932, Thailand’s political history may be summarized into three chronological kingdoms o The kingdom of Sukhothai o The Ayuthaya Kingdom o The Rattanakosin Kingdom - The Chakri Dynasty was founded by Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, or Rama I onApril 6 1782 - King BhumidoAdulyadej (Rama IX of Chakri Dynasty) Chakri Dynasty - The line of Monarchs from Rama I o Rama II o Rama III o Until Rama IX Modern Political System - After 1932 and after the first coup was launched to abolish the monarchy o Modern period  June 24, 1932 Coud’etat  Overthrew absolute monarchy (RAMAVII) by Junio Military officer and civil servants  Struggles for “true” democracy, lack of strong base for new democratic government, conflicts amongst elite groups - Constitutional movements o Student uprising in October 1973 o Confrontation of people’s movement and government force o May 1992 demonstration // Bloody Mary o 1997 constitution o 1932-1997: 56 govts o 7 Military PM leading 27 govts Current political system Gov’t - Constitutional Monarchy Executive Branch o Chief of state: King BhumidolAdulyadej (RAMAIX) o Head of Government: PM Yingluck Shinawatra (since 2011) Legislative Branch Bicameral NationalAssembly Consists of 1. The Senate (200 seats, members elected) 2. The house of representatives (500 seats, members elected) Monarchy Angie © McMaster University 3 Fall 2014 Started on: 02/04/2014 - Late 1950s, PM Sarit Thanarat stressed the role of Monarchy as cornerstone of Thai identity and gov’t. Legitimacy. - Foster the tradition of “Lord father” (Semi-deity) - Buddhist scripture: 10 duties of Kingship o Alms giving, morality, generosity, honesty, gentleness, self-restr
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