The Differences in Democratic Attitudes Between Thai Generations With Early Political Experiences Under Different Regimes


Sanyarat Meesuwan

Democracy is at risk of recession, especially in developing countries, a trend that raises concerns about democracy’s resilience. Thailand represents a useful case study: the country has struggled against the return of an authoritarian regime, providing fertile territory for exploring the impacts of political regimes on the democratic attitudes of different generations. The main data set comes from the seventh wave of the World Values Survey (WVS) collected in Thailand. Various statistical methods have been employed to describe the characteristics of variables and test the research hypotheses, including frequency, percentage, and hierarchical logistic regression analysis. Respondents have been categorized into two groups: (1) those born before 1982 who lived under a dictatorship before living in a democratic regime; (2) those born in 1982 and later whose politically formative years began after Thailand adopted democratic rule but subsequently lived under an authoritarian regime. The findings demonstrate that the older Thai generation is generally more supportive of military rule, with younger people more likely to favor democracy. These results have important implications for our understanding of the stability of democracy because they suggest that democratic values are not simply the product of living in a democracy but are also shaped by early exposure to democracy.


Keywords:Democracy, Authoritarian regimes, Young people, Democratic attitudes, Socialization

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