The Essential Trust Building in Thailand’s Reconciliation Process

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Previous studies have found trust to be a crucial component in relationship building and the peace building processes. However, the reconciliation processes proposed and bought into practice by the Thai governments during past years ignored trust building—both in terms of trust in institutions and trust among the people. This article claims that such a gap has meant that the implementation of the reconciliation process in Thailand has never succeeded. In order to make this argument even clearer, this article tests the theory that trust is associated with variations in reconciliation, as in the hypothesis that those trusting in political institutions and other people are more likely than those filled with distrust to support elements important for the reconciliation process. This article shows findings that confirm this hypothesis and indicate that trust has the most powerful effect on the opinions about the key elements of the reconciliation process, comparing to socioeconomic background, political identification, and democratic-value factors.