This study uses extensive field research to explore the impact of the internal relationships among the three major political party actors—the party center, parliamentarians and branch members—on the formation of party branches as well as on the internal operations of those local branches across Thailand. The study focuses on Democrat Party branches because it has devoted more human and material resources to branch development since its inception than any other political party in Thailand. In 2006, the Democrat Party had approximately 200 local branches around the nation. Other major parties, such as the Thai Nation, which survived for 30 years, had 14 branches, while the Thai Rak Thai Party (1998-2006) had 10 branches. This study, however, attempts to identify key features contributing to branch policy formation and the effectiveness of party branch operations in general.
The results of this research offer insights into the organization and development of local political party branches. The findings suggest that while the Democrat Party leaders used branch promotion policy to further their own interests, the party's constituency parliamentarians often dominated the internal structure and operation of local branches.
The tightly knit relationship between parliamentarians and branch members also tended not to depend on the party affiliation of members. This phenomenon is particularly evident in constituencies where the Democrat Party maintains a weak political base, such as in the Northeast. On the other hand, in districts where concrete support emerged, for example in the South and in Bangkok, branch members can strongly assist both the party and individual politicians in elections. The departure of individual Democrat parliamentarians does not threaten the stability and unity of those branches. In this respect, the Democrat Party differs from other Thai political parties: DP branch members cannot simply be assumed to be political tools of parliamentarians.
|Commitee:||Burrell, Barbara, King, Dwight, Ockey, James|
|School:||Northern Illinois University|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Local political party branches, Political party, State subsidies, Thailand|
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