Thailand’s Cause Lawyers and 21st Century Military Coups: Nation, Identity and Conflicting Visions of the Rule of Law
20 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2019
Date Written: June 25, 2015
Conflict among Thailand’s legal advocates for popular causes over the legitimacy of Thailand’s two 21st century coups raises questions about the meaning of the rule of law. The general perception of inexorable globalization of an international interpretation of the rule of law and of cause lawyers as one its important vectors, runs counter to the experience of developing societies where rule of law is being adapted to the meaning of nation and individual identity informing everyday lives and the relationship between a society and its government. This essay uses career narratives Thai cause lawyers to illustrate this point by examining sources of the rule of law’s meaning, including experiences shared by each generation of cause lawyers and communities of practice shaping individual careers and identities. Their career narratives suggest the importance of continuing relationships with social movement leaders on beliefs about Thailand’s readiness for democracy and meaning of a rule of law.
Keywords: Thailand, rule of law, lawyers, social movements, military coups
JEL Classification: K
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation