||The focus of this study is to analyze the relationship of change in Thailand’s southern policy and separatist movements, or the relationship between the Bangkok regime’s policies toward Malay-Muslims in southern Thailand and the Separatist Movement. The research approach is to explain the root causes for Malay-Muslim in southern Thailand in armed resistance against the central government, moderation and radical periods in the Separatist Movement. |
According to historical institutionalism, the process of institutional and historical development is a “punctuated equilibrium,” and historical contexts evolve according to “path dependency.” Except when crises in the external environmental changes cause “punctuated equilibria,” it would basically cause those in power to establish new coping strategies that cause change or collapse to the old system. In late 19th century, expansion by the English and French colonialism and imperialism in Indochina caused King Chulalongkorn to accelerate reform in national territorialization and power centralization. In turn, the Kingdom of Patani was transformed from a vassal state to a province in southern Siam, ending the power of Malay Rajas, which motivated the historical origins of southern Thailand separatism.
A review of the Thai historical development found that, after Chulalongkorn the crises in external environmental change frequently lead the ruling regime in Bangkok to establish new southern Thailand policies. In sum, the external environmental changes in the temporal sequence of colonial empires fighting for their interests against each other, threat of the Communist Party, Democratization, Globalization and war on counter-terrorism affected the new southern policies of Thailand by Rama VI, Phibun Songkram, Sarit Thanarat, Thanom Kittikachorn, Prem Tinsulanonda, and Thaksin Shinawatra. It is also intimately connected to the radicalism or moderation of the Malay-Muslim Separatist Movement.