Writing and Using the History of Thailand’s 1932 Revolution

The Unruly Past: History and Historiography of the 1932 Thai Revolution” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2018.1556319) is a new article by Arjun Subrahmanyan of the School of Arts at Murdoch University in Australia.

The abstract for the article states:

The monarchy and the country’s military dominate discussions of Thai political history. The country’s democratic history meanwhile is much less well known. To many people, historiography – the history of the writing of history – is a dull affair that only concerns academics. But the changing representations of the origins of democracy in the 1932 revolution that ended the absolute monarchy show the politics of history as a continuous problem that still shapes Thai society. The interpretations have been bound to the bitter partisanship that has accompanied a history of political instability. This article examines the changing interpretations of 1932 in their historical contexts and demonstrates the central antagonism towards the ideal of popular sovereignty, despite its long history in the country, that is still held by the military and monarchic elite.

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