(Re)Crafting Citizenship: Cards, Colors, and the Politic of Identification in Thailand


Pinkaew Laungaramsri, Chiang Mai University

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Abstract: This paper traces the genealogy of one type of state artifacts in Thailand, the Identification Card. Central to the research question is how the chaotic card system in Thailand has been historically invented and utilized by state agencies in different periods of time and how such invention has contributed to the crafting of differential citizenship in Thailand.  The paper argues that throughout the history of ID card system, two kinds of citizenship have been produced: pro-prietary and contingent citizenships that serve as a means to differentiate the Thai from the non-Thai other. Yet, within the temporality of the ID card regime, pragmatic citizenship has been de-veloped by people to rework national identification as something alive and practical. It is in this realm that the non-Thai other has strived to be both a subjectified and subject-making in the un-stable state-ethnic relationship of modern Thai society.

Keywords: Citizenship, Identification Card, State-ethnic relation, Border Control

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