Thailand has regained relative calm and stability over the past year. After the worst floods in half a century subsided in early 2012, on the back of political crisis and turmoil that date back to 2005, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government has some breathing space to roll out its consumption-driven "populist" policy agenda.
However, the street protests against the Yingluck government have not gone away. In October-November last year, a royalist-conservative movement called Pitak Siam, which opposed Ms Yingluck's brother Thaksin Shinawatra, mobilised and turned up more than 10,000 demonstrators at its peak. But the anti-Thaksin movement could not produce broad-based support as in 2005-06 and 2008, when it was instrumental in overturning Thaksin-backed governments.
After all that has been said and seen in recent years, Thai politics has reached a plateau, characterised by an uneasy accommodation on one hand and a protracted stalemate on the other.
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