From Victimized Communities to Movement Powers and Grassroots Democracy: The Case of the Assembly of the Poor

  • Suthy Prasartset
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


This chapter intends to explain the process by which victimized communities are transformed into powerful grassroots movements and how in this process they are contributing to the emergence of grassroots democracy in Thai political context. The role of the Assembly of the Poor (AOP) will be highlighted to illuminate our arguments. These communities have suffered from the process of marginalization or development aggression as a direct result of state’s growth-oriented development policies during the last three decades. While most peasant communities were displaced by state and corporate projects in the name of development, some of them were participants in failing state-sponsored agricultural projects in partnership with corporate sector. With more open political opportunities since the mid-1980s, they started to organize into local groups to assert their rights and demand state compensations. Such a situation brought about numerous protest rallies at local level in various parts of the country. These local movements later aligned themselves into provincial and regional groups and networks. Confronting difficulties in pressing their demands on the state, leaders of these diverse movements learned to achieve political synergy by combining their struggles into one national network (AOP) to coordinate their activities.


Social Movement Eucalyptus Plantation Political Reform Alternative Agriculture Movement Power 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2004

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  • Suthy Prasartset

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