We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Re-thinking the Thai-Lao border in International Relations: Can anti-geopolitics reveal a human dimension?

WISAIJORN, THANACHATE (2015) Re-thinking the Thai-Lao border in International Relations: Can anti-geopolitics reveal a human dimension? Masters thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version


This thesis reconceptualises the Thai-Lao border in International Relations and proposes that anti-geopolitics is able to reveal a human dimension in the discipline. The spatial conceptualisation of traditional geopolitics which facilitated colonisation in the past influenced mainstream International Relations, especially political realism. The four geopolitical characteristics of the self-claim for objectivity, separation of space and peoples, white man supremacy, and provision for nationalistic policy found in traditional geopolitics has significantly influenced International Relations, especially political realism. The space management presupposed to be Westphalian-based in the discipline remained Eurocentric because European imaginative geography has been insufficiently examined. Peoples on the ground whose movements did not conform to the Westphalian presupposition have been downgraded in the theory from the Cold War to the present day. The Thai-Lao border is a good example of the continuation of colonial legacy regarding spatial conceptualisation in International Relations and raised these questions. Firstly, it questioned the extent to which the concept of territorial borders in traditional geopolitics influenced discussion of the Thai-Lao border from 1954 to 1975 in International Relations theory. This thesis also uses Agnew and Corbridge’s concept of the territorial trap to criticise existing literature in International Relations regarding Thai-Lao border issues after 1975. It proposes that such a critical point of view be enriched further by incorporating anti-geopolitics framework especially anthropology and history. This thesis argues that the human dimension can be revealed by anti-geopolitics. The voice of the peoples on the ground, regarding the border issue, is not rejected, while the voice of the state is not ignored. This is not only a possible but also desirable situation that will enrich International Relations as a discipline.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Keywords:Thailand, Lao PDR, Border, International Relations, Anti-geopolitics
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Government and International Affairs, School of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:29 Jun 2015 11:43

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter