Environmental Subjects and Displays of Political Order: the Case of Ecology Monks in Northern Thailand

Amalia Rossi


In the late eighties the Thai eco-Buddhist movement, led by a fragmented network of Buddhist monks, mobilized in defense of the forested ecosystems and advocated rural communities in forest and land conflicts against the state-corporation alliance. The present discussion challenges the assumptions of those observers who described the local articulations of the eco-Buddhist movement in the nineties. By analyzing the life trajectory of two ecology monks operating in Nan and focusing on their representations of the righteous rural order, I will argue that the eco-Buddhist environmentalist approach, throughout the decade 2000-2010, became a hegemonic force, supporting the conservative powers’ effort to softly contrast the expansion of reformist social movements in the Northern Thai territories.


eco-Buddhist movements, ecology monks, royal projects, Northern Thailand

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14672/ada2014258%25p


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