Authors: Sanyarat Meesuwan
Abstract: Based on the Internet’s nature, interactive, easy access, low cost, and non-coercion from the government, some academics believed the Internet would be an ideal medium contributing to the development of democracy. They suggested the circulation of online discussions could transform into political actions, increase political participation among people, and create a society more conducive to democracy. Seeing the increase number of the Internet users and online activities, the papers asked how the Internet contributes to the development of democracy in Thailand. To measure the relationship between the online and offline political participation among Thai people, an opinion survey was employed as the principal technique. The result of the study revealed correlations between the Internet usage and political participation in the real world. However, the Internet did not contribute to the development of democracy, as some scholars expected. In fact, people who used the Internet were more skeptical and engaged less in politics.
Keywords: Democratic Development, Political Participation, Civic Attitudes, and Internet