Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Jeff Unsicker


This case study provides an in-depth examination of the work of the Thailand Northern Land Reform Movement using the framework of Jeff Unsicker's "Policy Advocacy Circles". Due to increasing population pressures, the liberalization of land markets, and agribusiness pressures, Thailand has experienced an increase in land ownership inequality and a growing number of landless and nearly landless small-scale farmers. In order to address this situation, agricultural communities have joined together at local and national levels to fight for the legislation of land reform policies, including Community Land Titles, progressive land taxes, and a National Land Bank to assist with land redistribution.

In Northern Thailand, the Northern Peasants Federation (NPF) and the Village Development and Strengthening Organization (VDSO) have joined with the Peoples' Movement for a More Just Society (PMove) to advocate on behalf of landless farmers. This paper trace the origins of the land issues and peoples' movements in Thailand, followed by a close look into the NLRM's campaign focusing on the Community Land Title advocacy work and mass mobilizations coordinated by PMove. Resource include firsthand accounts and interviews during intensive fieldwork from December 2011- May 2012, as well as academic studies, NGO documents, and newspaper reports.

This paper concludes that the NLRM is an extremely complex and widespread effort, which utilizes a number of effective methods and tactics, but still has room for minor adjustments that may allow NLRM to gain even more successes. Though the NLRM is a vibrant and evolving movement, there is little English language documentation of its philosophies and history. This study, therefore, has been conducted with the hope that it will provide useful and informative details about the NLRM's work and experiences.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Civic and Community Engagement | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Other Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Policy History, Theory, and Methods | Politics and Social Change


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