Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Democracy and Development: Thai History and International Politics Summer Program
Academic Year
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Oral assessment  25%
Semester Assessment Written assignment (1000 words)  50%
Semester Assessment Reflective piece (500 words)  25%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Speak confidently about Thai politics

Reflect on the basic theoretical approaches to Democracy

Experience what it means to think critically in a UK Higher Education setting

Have experience of writing a piece of academic writing in a UK Higher Education setting

Demonstrate an ability to work independently

Brief description

The principle purpose of week one is to introduce students to the major concerns effecting political development in the Third World. The course will cover the principle challenges to achieving successful development politically, and will seek to confront the relationship between democratic governance and the priorities of developing economies. Underlying this concern will be an exploration of the relationship between ‘modernity’ and democracy. Drawing upon Historical perspectives as well as the expertise of International Politics, the course will equip students with a practical and conceptual understanding. It will do so in order to explore the Thai case specifically.


1. To provide an introduction to theoretical approaches to democracy and development in a Thai context.
2. To enable students to speak confidently about theoretical obstacles to the building of a successful Democracy
3. To encourage critical thinking about Thai politics.
4. To improve writing and communication skills.
5. To gain experience of what it is like to study a degree at Aberystwyth University.



Week 1 (Delivered by International Politics)

Lectures: 7 x 1 hour

1) Introduction to Democracy and Development
2) Public diplomacy and development
3) Alternative conceptions of development
4) Political Economy and Democracy
5) Problems of Democracy Promotion
6) Democracy as a Western concept
7) Democracy and Modernity: Historical case study: Germany

Seminars: 2 x 1 hour
1) Is Democracy a relative concept?
2) How important is Democracy in Thailand?

Round Table: 1 x 2 hour
‘Thailand: Emerging Democracy?’

Total hours: 11

Week 2 (Delivered by History)

Lectures: 7 x 1 hour
1) Thailand’s Military Governance: Phibun to Sarit
2) Emerging Democracy? Politics and Activism 1973 – 1992
3) Who is Thaksin, and what happened in 2001?
4) Is there such a thing as ‘Thai Style Democracy’?
5) Thailand’s Political Crisis 2006-2015
6) Corruption and Reform: Discourse and Reality
7) Where now for Thai Democracy?

Seminars 2 x 1 hour

1) Thai Political History: Why does it matter?
2) Applying International Theory to the Thai context

Debate: 1 x 2 hour
Student’s set debate topic

Week 3: (Mainly CDP activities)

2 x 2 hour workshops:
1) Democracy in Action workshop with a Welsh AM
2) How important is Democracy today?

Brochure Text

The purpose of this module is to provide students with the academic insights necessary to engage with the theoretical issues concerned with democratic development, particularly in the Third World. It will be split into three distinct but related weeks of work, introducing key theoretical concerns and historical examples. There will also be a core component that will introduce students to Thailand’s political development over the past 75 years. Dealing with issues of democratic development, civil society, and Thailand’s international context, this part of the course will concentrate on understanding how and why Thailand continues to struggle with electoral democracy. The purpose will be to raise questions, in order to support a critical engagement with the prospects for Democracy, in Thailand specifically, and in Southeast Asia more generally.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number na
Communication Written communication skills will be developed through the coursework and written examination; skills in oral presentation will be developed in the various Debating sessions, presentations and seminar.
Improving own Learning and Performance Feedback will be provided throughout, and in detail on written assessments.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be expected to word-process their work and make use of Blackboard.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including time management and communication skills, which may help them identify their personal strengths as they consider potential career paths.
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to theoretical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area and to undertake suitable preparation.
Research skills Students will have to deal with a range of secondary literature and incorporate it into written work.
Subject Specific Skills Students will develop an awareness of appropriate theories concerning Democracy and Development and be able to apply them to Thailand.
Team work Students will be expected to play an active part in group activities and to learn to evaluate their own contribution to such activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 4