Factions, parties, coalition change, and cabinet durability in Thailand: 1979 to 2001
Chambers, Paul, 1966-
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Thailand experienced coalitions of short duration from 1979 to 2001. Coalition breakdowns, dissolutions and cabinet reshufflings occurred with frequency. This study examines how multiple parties and multiple intra-party factions have affected the longevity of cabinets and coalitions in the case of Thailand (1979 to 2001). The analysis also situates cabinet and coalition behavior in terms of a three-level game (coalition level, party level, faction level). The study utilizes a transaction cost analysis approach and multivariate regression. The objectives of the analysis are to understand the causes of cabinet and coalition instability in Thailand; to identify the conditions under which either factions or parties are the appropriate unit of analysis in Thai parliamentary politics; and to enhance comparativists' abilities to model cabinet and coalition politics in weakly institutionalized parliamentary democracies with multiple, weakly cohering party systems. While this dissertation assumes that incessant bargaining by either multiple parties or multiple factions hampers cabinet duration, it proposes that factions are more significant than parties in this regard. The findings demonstrate clearly that factions were more significant than parties as the unit of analysis in Thai parliamentary politics during this period.