Populist becoming: The red shirt movement and political affliction in Thailand

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In this article, I explore the ways in which political subjectivities take shape through populist mobilization and dissipation. While the rise and increasing electoral success of populist movements across the world are largely attributed to charismatic leadership that conjures the will of "the people, " much less known is how people become populist subjects at a particular historical juncture. By attending to personal accounts of participation and detachment in a mass movement known as the Red Shirts in Thailand, I explore how the politics of becoming that emerges from this movement obfuscates the conventional distinction between populist and democratic identification. The articulation of populist subjects' aspiration and affliction provides a window into the undetermined aspects of political mobilization from the realm of the ordinary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-579
Number of pages25
JournalCultural Anthropology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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