Introducing Dr Kanokrat Lertchoosakul, SEAC Visiting Fellow and Assistant Professor at the department of Government, faculty of political science, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.
1.What will you be working on during your time as SEAC Visiting Fellow?
My 3-month stay with the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre will contribute to comparative analysis between the Thai case and other present-day youth movements worldwide. This work discusses and explores phenomena, literature and debates relating to the causal conditions of the emergence of other present-day youth movements, the dynamics of mobilisation, the impacts and consequences of their movements, and post-activist life in politics and democratisation of youth activists.
These findings will be used for crucial comparative studies of the youth movement in Thailand in the context of the literature on contention politics, demographic change and conflict, the political impacts of a disruptive world, and comparative analysis of other youth movements. The writings will be a part to complete my book manuscript with the tentative title The Cutting Edge Youth Movement in Thailand and Unfinished Democracy. This book explains the origin, development, dynamics and impacts of the recent Thai youth movement.
2.What led you to your field of study/what inspired your interest in these topics?
Youth activism during the 1960-70s has long played crucial role both on my academic interest as political scientist and as social activists. My PhD research mainly focuses on the rise, decline and revival of the leftist youth activists in Thailand. Therefore, the recent phenomena of countless mass youth street protests campaigning for democracy, environmental protection, equality and social justice in country after country across the globe, amazed political scientist like me. When similar trend happened in Thailand between 2020-2021, this project began.
Nevertheless, this project does not ask only how the younger generation in Thailand challenged the powerful conservative establishment and pushed forward structural reform. This work examines its effect on the bigger picture of unfinished and unconsolidated democratisation in Thailand. It attempts to fill gaps in research on cutting-edge contentious politics, demographic change and conflict, and the political impact of global disruptions on Southeast Asia.
3. How do you like to relax and unwind?
In sustaining my work in the long-term, exercising and exploring new idea beyond my academic interests are essential. Having regular breaks during the day and week was a part of my working life. Going out for a walk in the park, visiting museums and galleries, watching plays after work give me an incredible break and new ideas for the following day. Hiking, cycling and weight training during the weekend are necessary part of my working life.