Red Shirts (Thailand)

The Red Shirts (Thai: เสื้อแดง, romanizedSuea Daeng) are a political movement in Thailand, formed following the 2006 coup d'état which deposed then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Originally synonymous with the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), a group formed to protest the coup and resulting military government, the movement subsequently expanded to include various groups with diverse political priorities. Its members range from left-wing and/or liberal activists and academics to the large number of Thaksin's rural and working-class supporters.[1][2][3] The movement emerged as the result of socioeconomic changes in Northeast Thailand in the 1990s and 2000s, including a growing middle class, rising aspirations, and an increasing awareness of the extreme inequality and of the fundamentally weak democracy in Thailand,[4][5] typified by Thailand's primate city problem.[6] Red Shirts group dynamics center on frustrated economic and political aspirations to improve democracy and overcome inequality,[7] which contributed to the 2009 Thai political unrest and the 2010 Thai political protests,[8] as well as shared suffering at the hand of the ruling class hegemony.[9][10][11] As with other minorities, the Red Shirts have been dehumanized and demonized,[12] with insults such as "Red Buffalo" (Thai: ควายแดง, romanizedkhwai daeng; khwai, 'buffalo', is a common insult in Thai meaning a stupid person), since reclaimed by some of its targets. Their claims for transitional justice following the 2010 Thai military crackdown have been subverted by the Thai state.[13]

Selling red shirts during UDD protests in 2010, Bangkok.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Forsyth, Tim (2010). "Thailand's Red Shirt Protests: Popular Movement or Dangerous Street Theatre?" (PDF). Social Movement Studies. 9 (4): 461–467. doi:10.1080/14742837.2010.522313. ISSN 1474-2837. S2CID 145712901.
  2. ^ Chachavalpongpun, Pavin (April 2013). "Thailand's Red Networks: From Street Forces to Eminent Civil Society Coalition" (PDF). Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Freiburg (Germany) Occasional Paper Series (14). Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  3. ^ Alexander, Saowanee T. (2019). "Identity in Isan and the Return of the Redshirts in the 2019 Elections and Beyond". The Kyoto Review. 27.
  4. ^ de Jong, Edwin; Knippenberg, Luuk; Ayuwat, Dusadee; Promphakping, Buapun (2012). "Red-Shirt Heartland: Village-Level Socioeconomic Change in Northeast Thailand Between 1999 and 2008". Asian Politics & Policy. 4 (2): 213–231. doi:10.1111/j.1943-0787.2012.01337.x. ISSN 1943-0779.
  5. ^ Hewison, Kevin (2014-03-27). "Considerations on inequality and politics in Thailand". Democratization. 21 (5): 846–866. doi:10.1080/13510347.2014.882910. ISSN 1351-0347. S2CID 145019012.
  6. ^ Fong, Jack (2012-09-05). "Political Vulnerabilities of a Primate City: The May 2010 Red Shirts Uprising in Bangkok, Thailand". Journal of Asian and African Studies. 48 (3): 332–347. doi:10.1177/0021909612453981. ISSN 0021-9096. S2CID 145515713.
  7. ^ Sopranzetti, Claudio (2019-10-17), "Mass politics and the Red Shirts 1", Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Thailand, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 156–164, doi:10.4324/9781315151328-12, ISBN 978-1-315-15132-8, S2CID 214052492
  8. ^ Elinoff, Eli (2012). "Smouldering Aspirations: Burning Buildings and the Politics of Belonging in Contemporary Isan". South East Asia Research. 20 (3): 381–398. doi:10.5367/sear.2012.0111. ISSN 0967-828X. S2CID 147295246.
  9. ^ Taylor, Jim (2012). "Remembrance and Tragedy: Understanding Thailand's "Red Shirt" Social Movement". Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia. 27 (1): 120. doi:10.1355/sj27-1d. ISSN 0217-9520. S2CID 145259518.
  10. ^ Glassman, Jim (2012-10-16), "Cracking Hegemony", Gramsci, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, pp. 239–257, doi:10.1002/9781118295588.ch12, ISBN 978-1-118-29558-8
  11. ^ Montesano, Michael J. Chachavalpongpun, Pavin. Chongvilaivan, Aekapol. (2012). Bangkok May 2010 : perspectives on a divided Thailand. Silkworm Books. ISBN 978-616-215-042-5. OCLC 943968424.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Sripokangkul, Siwach (2015-08-18). "Inferior to Non-humans, Lower than Animals, and Worse Than Demons: The Demonization of Red Shirts in Thailand". Asian Social Science. 11 (24). doi:10.5539/ass.v11n24p331. ISSN 1911-2025.
  13. ^ Sripokangkul, Siwach (2019-06-11). "Subversion of transitional justice in Thailand: transitional injustice in the case of the 'Red Shirts'". The International Journal of Human Rights. 23 (10): 1673–1692. doi:10.1080/13642987.2019.1624538. ISSN 1364-2987. S2CID 197709427.