The Discourse of Military Domination in Thailand

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Sunanta Pamela Ward


The paper sought Foucault’s theories and Van Dijk’s CDA approach to conduct a discourse analysis on some military public pronouncements of two prominent military leaders: Prem Tinsulanonda, Prayuth Chan-ocha. The research found that in the discourses social structure is promoted by the military stressing the importance of harmony in society. The idea of harmony is used to create collective happiness and ideally created by the charismatic leader with barami at the top and networks of ‘bunkhun’ (debt of gratitude) at the subordinate level. The paper argues that the networks of bunkhun stress the importance of the collective happiness over the individual which is an obstacle towards a human rights-based society.

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Ward, S. P. (2020). The Discourse of Military Domination in Thailand. Journal of Human Rights and Peace Studies, 6(1), 131–156. Retrieved from
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