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Asymmetry of power relations between Thai government and Malay Muslims and its impacts on the conflict in Southern Thailand, 2004-2013

Nualpian, Parinya (2016) Asymmetry of power relations between Thai government and Malay Muslims and its impacts on the conflict in Southern Thailand, 2004-2013. PhD. thesis, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

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Abstract

The conflict outbreak in Southern Thailand since 2004 has provoked a hot debate, not only among the academicians and political practitioners, but surprisingly it also involved a broad range of stakeholders in the conflict. Commentators provided a range of explanations for the resurgence of the conflict in southern Thailand. These include: misguidance from the radical religious leaders and Thai‟s government continuous denial of Malay Muslims‟ ethno-religious identity. Missing from these suite explanations is the asymmetry of power relations between the Thai‟s government and the Malay Muslims and how this dimension added or contributed further to the already tensed relations between the two warring groups. Thus, the objective of this study is to examine and analyze the asymmetry of power relations between the Thai‟s government and the Malay Muslims, with a particular focus on its implications on the conflict in southern Thailand, using combined theories of asymmetry. The theoretical frame work highlights strategic interactions of those involved and attempts to provide an analytical framework in analyzing the imbalance of power relations among those involved in the conflict. This study is divided into three parts. The first part examines the political power relation between the Thai‟s government and the Malay Muslims which includes peace-building policy of southern administration and the Malay Muslims‟ political movements. The second part explains the relation between the Thai government‟s military power and the capability of the Malay Muslims militant movements. The last part discusses the socio-economic power relation between the Bangkok government and the Malay Muslims and how it contributes to the raging protracted conflict in the southern Thailand. These include the central government power and the Malay Muslims‟ socio-economic capabilities. Data for this study were collected from both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources include documents, reports, speeches, royal government gazette, press releases and security policies. Interviews with knowledgeable and prominent figures and those involved in the conflict were also conducted. Secondary data include books, articles, journals, newspaper and magazines. The study reveals the extreme asymmetry of power relations between the Thai‟s strong government, and the weak and deprived Malay Muslims, has contributed further to the intensity of the conflict in the region. It is discovered that the insurgency is a result of the Malay Muslim militants‟ reaction to resist what they considered as the state of violence against their very existence as people. Finally, it is argued that Bangkok government‟s effort to manage the conflict was ineffective.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD.)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Asymmetry of Power Relations, Asymmetry Theories, Malay Muslims, Southern Thailand, Thai Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Ghazali Shafie Graduate School of Government
Depositing User: Mr. Badrulsaman Hamid
Date Deposited: 02 May 2017 16:38
Last Modified: 02 May 2017 16:38
URI: http://etd.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/6214

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