Religion and Religiosity in Thai Elections: Irrelevant No Longer
THAILAND STUDIES PROGRAMME
About the Seminar
To what extent, and how, do political parties in Thailand differentiate themselves in relation to religious matters? And to what extent, and how, do religious identity and religiosity matter for the choices that voters make at the ballot box? The consensus among scholars and pundits has long been that neither parties nor voters in Thailand regard religion as politically salient. However, evidence from the country’s 2019 general election and from the 2022 Bangkok elections challenges this conventional wisdom. Assessing the (new) political significance of religion and religiosity is important to understanding contemporary Thai politics, not least with the next Thai general election expected in 2023.
About the Speaker
Tomas Larsson is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John’s College. He is the author of The Race to the Top: The Real Story of Globalization (2001), Land and Loyalty: Security and the Development of Property Rights in Thailand (2012), and, with Hans Johansson, Thai: Lärobok för Nybörjare (1991). His ongoing research concerns Buddhism and politics in Thailand and political liberalism in Southeast Asia.
This is a hybrid event which will be held at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS).
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