• Jitraporn Somyanontanakul College of Politics and Governance, Mahasarakham University
Keywords: Protest Event Analysis (PEA), protest events in Thailand, content analysis, Thai democracy


This research is an attempt to quantify the protest events recorded by the Thai Rath from 1997 to 2016. By applying the content analysis method, the Protest Event Analysis (PEA) in particular, this paper presents a picture of the protests over the past two decades, whereby the ebb and flow of democracy in Thailand were evident. I, first, note the different searching results from two different words, Protest (807, and 535 for refined results) and Demonstration (4495, and 4051 for refined results). The search results of Demonstration are greater than those of Protest (approximately between 5 to 7 times greater). The next conclusion to be drawn from the Thai Rath is that it mostly reported about United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship or UDD, and the first day of August was the most likely time for the protest events to reach a peak in terms of frequency. The final conclusion comes from investigating phases frequently used by the campaigners in the protest events. I found that the main target of the protesters was the government, and their words contained a diagnosed frame and a motivational frame. My comprehensive investigation contributes greatly to researchers in many fields, especially for democratization scholars to test, for instance, the relationship between the middle class and democratic waves in Thailand.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Jitraporn Somyanontanakul, College of Politics and Governance, Mahasarakham University

Lecturer, College of Politics and Governance, Mahasarakham University


Benford, R. D., & Snow, D. A. (2000). Framing processes and social movements: An overview and assessment. Annual review of sociology , 26(1), 611-639.

Bengtsson, M. (2016). How to plan and perform a qualitative study using content analysis. NursingPlus Open, (2), 8-14.

Biggs, M. (2018). Size matters: Quantifying protest by counting participants. Sociological Methods & Research, 47(3), 351-383.

Buchanan, J. (2013). Translating Thailand's protests: an analysis of Red Shirt rhetoric. ASEAS-Österreichische Zeitschrift für Südostasienwissenschaften, 6(1), 60-80.

Cai, Y. (2010). Collective resistance in China: Why popular protests succeed or fail. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Chaikan, T. (1987). The study of potential to political protest: the case study of labour union of Metropolitan Electricity Authority (in Thai). (M.A. Thesis) Thammasart University.

Cheangsan, U. (2018). Karn Maung Pak Prachachon [The People Politics]. Bangkok: Matichon.

Della Porta, D. (2012). Mobilizing against the crisis, mobilizing for “another democracy”: comparing two global waves of protest. Interface, 4(1), 274-277.

Elo, S., Kääriäinen, M., Kanste, O., Pölkki, T., Utriainen, K., & Kyngäs, H. (2014). Qualitative content analysis: A focus on trustworthiness. SAGE open, 4(1), 1-10.

Fratticcioli, A. (2012). Media and political protest in Thailand: a case study of the coverage of the March to May 2010 protest in the Bangkok Post and the Nation. (M.A. Thesis) Chulalongkorn University.

Freeman, J., & Johnson, V. (Eds.). (1999). Waves of protest: Social movements since the sixties (Vol. 101). New York: Rowman & Littlefield.

Hutter, S. (2014). Protest event analysis and its offspring. In D. d. Porta (2014), Methodological Practices in Social Movement Research. OUP Oxford.

Jenkins, J. C. (1995). The Politics Of Social Protest: Comparative Perspectives On States And Social Movements. Minnesota: U of Minnesota Press.

Jotikut, R. (2016). A Brief History of Protest Politics in Thailand (2001– 2014). Political Science and Public Administration Journal, 7(2), 79-117.

Kongkirati, P. (2012). Thailand: The Cultural Politics of Student Resistance. In M. L. Weiss, & E. Aspinall, Student Activism in Asia: Between Protest and
Powerlessness (225-258). Minnesota, USA: University of Minnesota Press.

Koopmans, R. (1993). The dynamics of protest waves: West Germany, 1965 to 1989. American Sociological Review, 637-658.

Koopmans, R. (2002). Codebook for the analysis of political mobilisation and communication in European public spheres. 5th Framework Program of the European Commission.

Koopmans, R. (2007). Who inhabits the European public sphere? Winners and losers, supporters and opponents in Europeanised political debates. European Journal of Political Research, 46(2), 183-210.

Kriesi, H., Grande, E., Lachat, R., Dolezal, M., Bornschier, S., & Frey, T. (2006). Globalization and the transformation of the national political space: Six European countries compared. European Journal of Political Research, 45(6), 921-956.

Luangaram, P., & Sethapramote, Y. (2018). Economic Impact of Political Uncertainty in Thailand. PIER Discussion Papers 86. Bangkok: Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research.

Madestam, A., Shoag, D., Veuger, S., & Yanagizawa-Drott, D. (2013). Do political protests matter? evidence from the tea party movement. The
Quarterly Journal of Economics, 128(1), 1633-1685.

McAdam, D., & Su, Y. (2002). The war at home: Antiwar protests and congressional voting, 1965 to 1973. American Sociological Review, 696-721.

McCarthy, John, et al. "Assessing stability in the patterns of selection bias in newspaper coverage of protest during the transition from communism in
Belarus." Mobilization: An International Quarterly, 13.2 (2008): 127-146.

Myers, Daniel J., and Beth Schaefer Caniglia. "All the rioting that's fit to print: Selection effects in national newspaper coverage of civil disorders, 1968-1969." American Sociological Review, 69.4 (2004): 519-543.

Oliver, P. E., & Maney, G. M. (2000). Political processes and local newspaper coverage of protest events: From selection bias to triadic interactions. American Journal of Sociology, 106(2), 463-505.

Pasuk, Phongpaichit, Treerat Nualnoi, and Chris Baker. "Very Distinguished Alumni: Thai Political Networking." Southeast Asian Studies 5.1 (2016): 19-34.

Pintobtang, P. (1998). Kanmuang bon thong thanon 99 wan samacha khoncon le prawatisat kanduenkhabuan chumchon prathuang sangkhom thai [Politics on the Road: The Assembly of the Poor’s 99 Days and History of Demonstrations, Protest Gatherings in Thai Society]. Krik University.

Pitidol, Thorn. "Redefining democratic discourse in Thailand’s civil society." Journal of Contemporary Asia 46.3 (2016): 520-537.

Siriyuvasak, U. (2007) Suesarnmuanchon Baungton: Suesarnmuanchon Wattanatham Lae Sungkom [Introduction to Media: Media, Culture and Society] (2nd edition). Bangkok: Chulalongkorn University Press.

Schedler, A. (1998). What is democratic consolidation? Journal of democracy, 9(2), 91-107.

Tantayotin, S. (1990). Labour strikes of labour union of state enterprise: the case study of Prem Tinnasulanonda. (M.A.Thesis) Thamasart University.

Tilly, C., & Wood, L. J. (2015). Social Movements 1768-2012. London: Routledge.

William, G. (1975). The Strategy Of Social Protest. Belmont, Cal.: Wadsworth Pub.
How to Cite
Somyanontanakul, J. (2019). PROTEST EVENT ANALYSIS FROM ‘THAI RATH’ BETWEEN 1997 AND 2016: RESULTS AND METHODOLOGICAL CHALLENGES. Social Science Asia, 5(4), 70-88. Retrieved from
Research Article