The Same Old Story: The collapse of the semi-democracy regime in 1930s Japan and 2006 Thailand
Keywords:Taisho democracy, 2006 Thai coup d’état, 1932 attempted coup, Civil-Military relations
Both Thailand and Japan have experienced turbulent democratic processes. In addition, both countries are considered as semi-democratic according to Dahl’s framework. It is undeniable that both countries have failed in democratization itself, at one stage, despite being almost 100 years apart, and Lipset’s prerequisite having been met. There were three main factors that led to such occurrences, these being too many offices, which have considerable authority over the electoral force, politicians who side with the non-democratic side for their gain, and the belief that there existed a better alternative form of government. These have been accompanied by six circumstantial similarities that have made the situation in Thailand and Japan similar. Lastly, we can see that the military have played an important role as an undemocratic force or democratic force supporter depending on how much the civilian government can assert their control over them.
Baker, Christopher John, and Pasuk Phongpaichit. 2014. A History of Thailand. 3rd ed. Cambridge University Press.
Chambers, Paul, and Napisa Waitoolkiat. 2016. “The Resilience of Monarchised Military in Thailand.” Journal of Contemporary Asia 46 (3): 425–44. doi:10.1080/00472336.2016.1161060.
Conference on Taishō Japan, Bernard S. Silberman, Harry D. Harootunian, and Gail Lee Bernstein. 1974. Japan in crisis essays on Taishō democracy. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Dahl, Robert Alan. 1971. Polyarchy : Participation and Opposition. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Dahl, Robert Alan. 1989. Democracy and Its Critics. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Linz, Juan J. 1978. The breakdown of democratic regimes: crisis, breakdown, reequilibration. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Mccargo, Duncan. “Network monarchy and legitimacy crises in Thailand.” The Pacific Review 18 (2005): 499 - 519.
Edgerton, Robert B. 1997. Warriors of the rising sun: a history of the Japanese military. New York: Norton.
Gordon, Andrew. 2003. A Modern History of Japan : From Tokugawa Times to the Present. Oxford University Press.
Halliday, Jon. 1975. A Political History of Japanese Capitalism. Pantheon Books.
Handley, Paul M. 2006. The King Never Smiles : A Biography of Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Harris, Joseph.. “Who Governs? Autonomous Political Networks as a Challenge to Power in Thailand.” Journal of Contemporary Asia 45 (2015): 25 - 3.
Hewison, Kevin. 2006. "General Surayud Chulanont: A Man And His Contradictions". Prachathai. https://prachatai.com/journal/2006/10/9967.
Hewison, Kevin. "Reluctant Populists: Learning Populism in Thailand." International Political Science Review / Revue Internationale De Science Politique 38(4): 426-40. Accessed June 29, 2021. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26940302.
Huntington, Samuel P. 1991. The Third Wave : Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. Oklahoma :University of Oklahoma Press.
Jansen, Marius B. 2002. The Making of Modern Japan. Vol. 1st Harvard University Press paperback ed. Cambridge : Harvard University Press.
Tejapira, Kasian. “The Irony of Democratization and the Decline of Royal Hegemony in Thailand.” Southeast Asian Studies 5 (2016): 219-237.
Terry Lynn Karl. 1986. Imposing consent? electoralism vs. democratization in El Salvador. Elections and democratization in Latin America, 1985, 9-36.
Large, S.S.,and W.M. Tsutsui.eds. 2007. “Oligarchy, Democracy, and Fascism”. In A Companion to Japanese History, https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470751398.ch10
Lipset, Seymour Martin. "Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy." The American Political Science Review 53(1) : 69-105. Accessed June 29, 2021. doi:10.2307/1951731.
Ryota, Murai. 2014. "The Rise And Fall Of Taishō Democracy: Party Politics In Early-Twentieth-Century Japan". Nippon.Com. https://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a03302/.
"Opposition May Boycott Thai Election; Demonstrators Want Thaksin Out - Wikinews, The Free News Source". 2006. En.Wikinews.Org. https://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Opposition_may_boycott_Thai_election;_demonstrators_want_Thaksin_out.Pasuk Phongpaichit, & Baker, C. J. (2009). Thaksin (2nd expanded ed.). Silkworm Books
TAKAYOSHI, MATSUO. 1966. “THE DEVELOPMENT OF DEMOCRACY IN JAPAN-Taishō Democracy: Its Flowering and Breakdown-.” Developing Economies 4 (4): 612–32. doi:10.1111/j.1746-1049.1966.tb00495.x.
Takenaka, Harukata. 2014. Failed Democratization in Prewar Japan : Breakdown of a Hybrid Regime. Studies of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=810635&site=eds-live.
"Thaksin Rebuffs Resignation Calls While Elite Call For Appointed PM - Wikinews, The Free News Source". 2006. En.Wikinews.Org. https://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Thaksin_rebuffs_resignation_calls_while_elite_call_for_appointed_PM.
Thai 1997 Constitution
Tipton, Elise K. 2016. Modern Japan : A Social and Political History. 3rd ed. Nissan Institute/Routledge Japanese Studies Series. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat05085a&AN=chu.b2248265&site=eds-live.
Kanchoochat, Veerayooth. 2016. “Reign-Seeking and the Rise of the Unelected in Thailand.” Journal of Contemporary Asia 46 (3): 486–503. doi:10.1080/00472336.2016.1165857.
KANCHOOCHAT, V.and HEWISON, K. 2016. “Introduction: Understanding Thailand’s Politics”. Journal of Contemporary Asia, [s. l.], 46(3): 371–387, DOI 10.1080/00472336.2016.1173305. Disponível em: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=poh&AN=115614055&site=eds-live. Acesso em: 29 jun. 2021
"20 Pi chak Thaksin Shinnawatra tueng Prayut Chan O-cha Chai “Ngobklang” 5 lanlan 14.5% khongngobruem [20 Years from Thaksin Shinawatra to Prayut Chan o-cha use “Central budget” 5 Trillion 14.5% of total budget] - Thaipublica". 2016. Thaipublica. https://thaipublica.org/2016/11/thaksin-to-prayuth-budgeting/.
Anek Laothammatas. 2013. Songnakaraprachathipatai: Neawthangkarnpatirubkarnmueng setthakit pueprachathipathai [Two cities of Democracies: Pathway for political and economics reformation for democracy] Eighth edition.Bangkok: Kobfai. https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat05085a&AN=chu.b1934260&site=eds-live.
"Bigtu”reakporborlaothap thokboard 7 suakalahome kuyphotaharnklangpee[General Prayuth Calls Commander-In-Chief Discuss ‘7 Defense Tigers Board’ About Midyear Personnel Relocation]”. 2021. Naewna. https://www.naewna.com/politic/556380.
"Botbathnatheekhongongkamontriphaitairatthathummanun[Role And Duty Of Privy Council Under The Constitution.]”. 2007. Prachathai. https://prachatai.com/journal/2007/03/12031.
Bunnag, Rome. 2020. " Kabotmaysahawaii” Rataprahanruangkokadbadtai! Klabklaypenkruenklengnaiduenmaysayon!! ["Hawaiian April" Throat-Cutting Coup Became Joyful Event In The Month Of April.]”. The Manager. https://mgronline.com/onlinesection/detail/9630000040057.
“Chabkohhok “Thaksin” maimeephrabaromrachanuyathainangprachan ‘thambun’ naiwatphrakeaw” [Thaksin Caught On Lies, No Royal Permission To Be President Of Merit Making At The Grand Palace]”.2005. The Manager. https://mgronline.com/politics/detail/9480000156640.
“Kerdaraikhuenbangkorn-lang “ratthapraharn 19 kor.yor. 47”chakprakotkarnlaithaksin thueng pholmaipis kormorchor. [What Happened Before And After “19 Sep 2006 Coup From Ousting Thaksin To Poisonous Fruit Of CNS]”. 2020. Weekly Mathichon. https://www.matichonweekly.com/scoop/article_230466.
Niemsorn, Narongsak. 2018. " Matra 7: waduayprapeneekarnpokkrongthai thamahachonmairub prapheneenankorraikuamma [Section 7: Regarding To The Governing Tradition, If Public Against, That Tradition Become Meaningless]”. The Momentum. https://themomentum.co/article-7-non-elected-prime-minister/.
"Perdprawat ‘polake Surayuth Chulanon prathanongkamontrikhonlasud’[The biography of General Surayuth Chulanon the newest President of Privy council]”. 2020. The Bangkok Insight. https://www.thebangkokinsight.com/267195/.
Preechakul, Somchai. 2013. "Kuamkaochaipidkiewkabmatra 7 laenayokprearatchathan [The Misunderstanding About Article 7 And King's Given Prime Minister]”. Prachathai. https://prachatai.com/journal/2013/12/50264.
Sattayanurak Atthachack. 2014. “Prachathipathai Khonthaimaithaokan [Democracy in which Thais are not equal]”. 1st ed. Matichon. https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat05085a&AN=chu.b2001876&site=eds-live.
"Theemakhong por.por.chor. chakratthathummanun 40 tueng ratthathummanun korsorchor [Sources Of National Anti-Corruption Commission From 1997 Constitution To The Present]”. 2018. Prachathai. https://prachatai.com/journal/2018/01/75080.
Threesuwan, Hathaikarn. 2017. " Nailuang ror. 9 ”Tulakarnmailek 1” kub “saeng” haeng wikrit ror thor nor 2549 [The King: “The Judicial Number 1” And The “Light” Of 2006 Constitutional Crisis]”. BBC News Thai. https://www.bbc.com/thai/thailand-41521691.
Threesuwan, Hathaikarn. 2018. " Pakthaksin: Yorngametorsuenairob 20 pee nee“kubdak ratthathummanun 3 chabub [Thaksin’S Party: Looking Back At The 20 Years Fight To Escape From 3 Constitutional Traps]”. BBC News Thai. https://www.bbc.com/thai/thailand-46276828.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Instiute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Published articles are under the copyright of the Instiute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University. Partially or totally publication of an article elsewhere is possible only after the consent from the editors.