Eli Elinoff
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From blood, cast in cement
Materialising the political in Thailand
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At the basis of Thailand’s contemporary cycle of political volatility are deep questions about the legitimacy of the nation in its current and its future form. This conjuncture raises the broader question: What binds the political in the first place? This chapter considers how the Thai case and its distinct answers to these questions reveals both Thailand’s contested theo-politics and how understanding such politics requires engagements with the materials that hold the political together. By analysing the materiality of two recent protests –one involving blood and one involving cement – this chapter demonstrates how these materials reveal distinct lines of thinking surrounding the forces that bind citizens to the political and mobilise them as distinct sorts of political subjects working towards making differently organised political worlds. By thinking the political through the forces and materials that bind it together, this chapter demonstrates how distinct uses of the materiality reveal how the forces that once held the nation together are quickly becoming the lines upon which it might come apart.

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