I-2. “The Strategic Use of Visa Policy: Political Analysis of Thailand’s Migration Policies in the Era of Regional Integration” (H28 FY2016)

  • Project Leader:Aizawa Nobuhiro (Kyushu University, Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies)
  • Collaborators:Pukchanok Pattanatabut (International Organization for Migration)
  •                              Nakanishi Yoshihiro (Kyoto University Center for Southeast Asian Studies)
  •                              Virot Ali (Thammasat University, Faculty of Political Science)
  •                              Pitch Pongsawat (Chulalongkorn University, Faculty of Political Science)
  •                              Kobayashi Satoru (Kyoto University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies)

Outline of Research

Our research team will analyze the policy making process and the political usage of visa policies in Thailand. We will first interview key actors who play a critical role in the formation of visa policies, such as political parties, business groups, local authorities, central government agencies, NGOs, and local offices of international organizations. We will then analyze these within the regional context and in an international relations framework. We will focus not only on Thailand’s relations with neighboring countries like Myanmar and Cambodia, but also with major economies such as China, Japan, the US, and Europe. We will conduct this research in Thailand.


The purpose of the research is to analyze consensus building as a political process, focusing on visa policies in Thailand. We will identify the key actors and critical issues that influences the political coalition in the making of visa policies. For Thailand, which aims to become a regional hub for everything from trade to transportation, visa policies play a crucial role in responding to human flows in the region.

The significance of the research lies in the theme’s inclusiveness; we will study both the domestic and the international dynamics in one policy making process. Different voices regarding the issue will be identified. Thus we are keen to establish a new analytical frame.

Another significance will be the use of political science in analyzing the politics of human flows. Sociology and anthropology have thus far taken the lead in this field. A new political science framework should therefore make an academic contribution at the same level as sociologists have established.


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