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The Ambiguities of Semicolonial Power in Thailand

The Ambiguities of Semicolonial Power in Thailand

Chapter:
(p.37) 1 The Ambiguities of Semicolonial Power in Thailand
Source:
The Ambiguous Allure of the West
Author(s):
Peter A. Jackson
Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789622091214.003.0002

This chapter examines the history of Siamese/Thai attitudes to the West in relation to the situation of both colonized and other nominally independent societies. Drawing on postcolonial understandings of power, culture, and knowledge, it argues that while Siam/Thailand occupied a subordinate position in the Western-dominated world order, it was never a direct colony. The chapter also argues that the notion of semicolonialism provides an avenue to open a dialogue with postcolonial studies while recognizing the ambiguities of Western power in the Thai context.

Keywords:   Siamese/Thai, West, power, culture, knowledge, Siam/Thailand, colony, semicolonialism, ambiguities, Western power

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