The Idea of “Loss” in Thai Historical Narratives
Thai nationalist historiography has developed into two well-established narratives. Royal-Nationalist perspective embraces themes of independence, cultural adaptation, bamboo diplomacy, and the virtues of the monarchy, to celebrate Thailand’s successful efforts at modernization. This book studies the alternative narrative, known as National Humiliation discourse, which is built on past grievances such as military defeat, territorial concessions, economic servitude and diplomatic betrayal. The narrative attempts to redefine Thai identity based on the model of the state as victim. Politicians have used this historical approach to mobilize public support for irredentism, economic and religious nationalism, and the conflict over Preah Vihear.
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