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Do You Hear The People Sing? State-Society Relations in Southeast Asia I

1330–1500, Saturday 16 April 2016, L6

Chair: TBA

List of Papers:

  • Paper 1: Civil society organizations and peacebuilding in Southern Thailand: Working amid Inclusion-Exclusion Dichotomy
  • Paper 2: Facebook as a weapon of the weak?: A case study of Thai protestors on EHIA Project of Mae Wong Dam, Thailand
  • Paper 3: Community Libraries as a Sustainable Development Tool

 

Paper 1: Civil society organizations and peacebuilding in Southern Thailand: Working amid Inclusion-Exclusion Dichotomy

Thammasat Sotthibandhu
University of Passau
porsotthi@hotmail.com

This paper aims to explore civil society organizations’ experiences in relation to the inclusion-exclusion dichotomy and human (in)security in the case study of Southern Thailand’s peacebuilding.
In most literatures, civil society in general is often seen as one core actor to achieve positive peace, which is more than the absence of war; but it also involves social, economic and environmental conditions conducive to human welfare for all people. However, civil society is a complex and contested sphere.
The upsurge of violence in 2004 stimulated the establishment of more civil society organizations in Southern Thailand, either rooted from the area or supported from outside. There are approximately 284 organizations. Some focus on security- and development-related programs, promoting dialogue and other multi-ethnic activities at different levels, and some focused more on activities that respond to the violence including rehabilitation, charity, and human rights protection. However, working without proper coordination in the context of this protracted asymmetrical conflict, several networks of banded CSOs create process of inclusion and exclusion; some works become overlapping and then encourage a competition to resources and target beneficiaries. Consequently, it is unlikely that some CSOs can significantly go in the direction of peace, and further that they may seek to exploit the benefits they gain from it at the expense of the human security of others.

 

Paper 2: Facebook as a weapon of the weak?: A case study of Thai protestors on EHIA Project of Mae Wong Dam, Thailand

Wimonsiri Hemtanon
Mahidol University
fraujum@gmail.com

Since 2010, Facebook emerged as a crucial online public sphere for information and communication among Thai middle class in a situation of political uncertainty. Not only used a hub as self-broadcast of news and information, but also became a vehicle for the casual commentator to air public opinions and also being used as a tool to channel support for various campaigns in real world activities.
The 388 kilometers marching within 13 days from Mae Wong Dam in Nakhornsawan province to Bangkok was initiated as a non-violent activity to express the opposition towards the Environmental Health Impact Assessment (EHIA) report produced by The Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning. Along the way since the marching had started by the only one prominent activist and few people in his team, Facebook had been applied as a tool to communicate with urban audiences and successfully ended up with thousands of supporters from all walks of life.
This article will explore how Facebook users, as stakeholders and actors of the societal movement, use facebook as a communication tool to negotiate with the State by reproducing discourses in order to maintain and enhance their natural resources conservation power by applying concepts of actor network theory and the concept of capital by Bourdieu.

 

Paper 3: Community Libraries as a Sustainable Development Tool

Quintin Jose Pastrana
Library Renewal Partnership
qp2@georgetown.edu

The paper outlines a theoretical framework and enterprise model for harnessing public libraries as third spaces and community institutions that address developmental challenges from literacy, community cohesion and security, to livelihood and climate change adaptation and post-disaster rehabilitation. The paper will cite best practices from developed and developing countries such as the United States, Kenya, Nepal, and the Philippines, and explore potential applications within Southeast Asia while seeking to align with cultural and governance norms, dynamics, and context.