‘People-to-People Diplomacy’: Shifting from National to Cultural Borders

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Saowapa Pornsiripongse


Thailand and Cambodia are neighboring countries that have had a good relationship throughout history until the Preah Vihear conflict arose in 1962, when their relationship soured.  As a result, nationalism in both countries has led to continuous conflict, and confrontation has taken a toll on property, security, and the livelihoods of communities along the border.  This article presents attempts by local leaders in the areas affected to improve relationships by using ‘people-to-people’ diplomacy as a tool for rebuilding positive ties among these communities. Difficulties and obstacles encountered in the context of nationalism and political conflict are also explored. This reflects local factors and the state and people’s perspectives of the relationship as studied under the research on leadership development for sustainable relationships between Thailand and Cambodia in Thai-Cambodian border areas,’ which was implemented in Surin province.


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Pornsiripongse, S. (1). ‘People-to-People Diplomacy’: Shifting from National to Cultural Borders. Journal of Mekong Societies, 9(3), 101-122. Retrieved from https://so03.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/mekongjournal/article/view/15140