PROTEST EVENT ANALYSIS FROM ‘THAI RATH’ BETWEEN 1997 AND 2016: RESULTS AND METHODOLOGICAL CHALLENGES
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.
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