Thai soldiers stand guard at the Army Club during a coup, May 22, 2014.
Athit Perawongmetha / Courtesy Reuters

Thailand is once again under military rule, following the coup on May 22. The army claims the move was necessary for restoring order after months of political protest, and that it will now be pushing through political reforms. The coup will be interpreted as a success for the antigovernment protesters who have long demanded that the old government step down and that reforms take place before a new election is held. 

The most recent round of political turbulence kicked off earlier this month when Thailand's constitutional court ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on the grounds that, in 2011, she had illegally transferred a senior official from the National Security Council to an inactive post. Less than seven weeks earlier, the constitutional court ruled the last general election, which she had won, invalid because the biggest opposition party, the Democrat Party, had sat it out, and because voting was disrupted in several places

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  • ELIN BJARNEGÅRD is Assistant Professor at the Department of Government at Uppsala University in Sweden. ERIK MELADER is Senior Research Fellow at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Parts of this article build on Bjarnegård’s recent book Gender, Informal Institutions and Political Recruitment (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). The survey was a joint effort between the East Asian Peace Program at Uppsala University and King Prajadihipok Institute in Thailand. 
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