The Concept of Explaining the Politics of Peasants: From "Moral Economy" to Contemporary Debates


  • Prapart Pintobtang An Associate Professor of Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University


This article aims to consider and analyze five approaches for explanation of peasants’ political behaviors-these are 1) comparative historical perspective, 2) quantitative analysis, 3) rational choice model, 4) approach of peasant studies of the school of moral economy and development of their debates, and 5) approach of political organization analysis. The author shows that each approach occupies strengths and weaknesses in its explanation-especially, the rural societies in the era of globalization inseparably link to the urban societies. As a result of this, it is necessary for each approach to be adapted and combined together in order to explain peasants’ much more complex political behaviors at present appropriately.


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