ACLED’s Thailand dataset contains nearly 3,000 recorded political violence, protest, and other non-violent political events from 2010 through the present. Throughout most of the country, the most common events are riots and protests. In general, the political landscape in Thailand since 2010 can be broken cleanly into two periods: before and after the 2013-2014 crisis, which ended in the removal of the incumbent prime minister. Prior to anti-government demonstrations erupting in October 2013, there was an average of 30 events reported per month in the country, including violence against civilians, remote violence, and riots and protests. The peak in 2013-2014, almost entirely due to a spike in the number of riots and protests, represents the height of the Thai political crisis, in which demonstrations erupted across the country with the aim of halting the continuing influence of Thailand’s former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, who was seen as a corrupting influence on Thailand’s democracy. Protests originally ensued after Thailand’s House of Representatives passed a bill proposing amnesty to Shinawatra and other former and deposed politicians. Following months of unrest, the Royal Thai military staged a coup d’etat in May 2014, resulting in the army chief general taking power in August of the same year. The establishment of the military junta was followed by an immediate decline in the number of political violence, protest, and other non-violent events that were recorded in Thailand, likely a result of the increased suppression by the newly instated military state.

In Thailand’s southern provinces, however, battles, remote violence, and violence against civilians occur more frequently than riots and protests. An ongoing separatist insurgency in these majority-Muslim provinces has fomented violence for decades. The grievances of the majority Malay Muslim population in these provinces are rooted in religious, racial, and linguistic differences from Thailand’s Buddhist majority, and the militants operating in these provinces rely heavily on remote violence tactics, including the frequent targeting of military patrols with improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The insurgents also target infrastructure – such as electrical grids – and are involved in widespread incidents of violence against civilians, often in the form of targeted attacks on individuals.

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Thailand – 2010 Data Release
Daniela Pollmann
Daniela Pollmann
Daniela Pollmann is the Asia Research Manager at ACLED. In this role she oversees the coding of political violence and protests in South and Southeast Asian countries. Ms Pollmann holds a MA in Conflict, Security and Development from the University of Sussex with focus on peace processes. She has previous work experience in the social sector in Uganda and India where her work focused on women empowerment, child protection and anti-human trafficking. She is currently stationed in New Delhi, India.
Melissa Pavlik
Melissa Pavlik
Melissa Pavlik is a Research Analyst at ACLED studying overarching trends of armed conflict across and within ACLED’s regions of study. She has degrees in Statistics and Political Science from the University of Chicago, and is currently studying in the War Studies Department at King’s College London. Her research focus include violent non-state actors and the intersection between the international political economy and political violence.
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