Public Policy Advocacy from Below: A Comparative Study of the People's Movement for a Just Society and the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee
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Keywords

Public policy, policy advocacy, people's participation, people's movement, the labor movement

Abstract

To create effective and relevant public policies relevant to today's social challenges, citizens must be involved. Even though most policies originate from the government or are referred to as top-down policies, public policies may be the creation of the people's or private business sectors. The People's Movement for a Just Society (P-Move) and the Thai Labor Solidarity Committee (TLSC), the two movements that advocate for just public policy in Thailand, are described as examples of bottom-up policy. The study used a qualitative research technique and analyzed data from primary documents, secondary documents, and fieldwork research using an interpretive process. This fieldwork research comprised non-participant observation of the activities of both movements, two focus group discussions with a total of 18 participants, and in-depth interviews with 51 main informants. In addition, the researchers used theoretical models of public policy to explain how advocacy for public policy emerged from below. The data were analyzed using the content analysis technique focused on describing and understanding the occurrences that happened. The study discovered that P-Move has been supporting public policy from below since 2011, which has been created based on issues with the production of land and natural resources. Similarly, to this, TLSC has been promoting public policy that is the result of labor issues since 2001. Both movements have taken part in the public policy process and advocated for public policies based on their demands and issues. Both groups have, to a certain extent, been able to influence state policy and its execution. Still, the labor movement has been more effective than the people's movement in securing tangible outcomes from its advocacy for policy. According to this study, the government should change its paradigm to support and promote public policy that stems from the labor movement, the civil rights movement, and other social organizations, as these policies are advantageous to the government and society at large. This would provide problems with pertinent answers that matched the requirements of the populace.

 

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