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History Unfolds During J-Term Course in Thailand

Thailand's capitol city became a makeshift classroom for a group of Augustana students studying political economics last month.

Students in Dr. Reynold Nesiba's January Term (J-Term) course, "The Political Economy of Thailand," got a firsthand glimpse of the power of political demonstrations as anti-government protesters, angry with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, blocked parts of Bangkok in an effort to push the embattled leader to resign.

Following last week's Thai elections, Nesiba talked about the experience of being in the country during the unrest with SDPB's Dakota Midday:

"There were protests going on while we were there, but the biggest one happened the day after we left to go north to Chiang Mai. But remember, this is a country that has had 18 successful coups since 1932," said Nesiba said. "It's a country that has learned to roll with this ongoing unrest."

"Much of the protests have been characterized as being festive, or having a circus atmosphere. Most have been peaceful. I believe this is a nation on the cusp of a civil war and trying to figure out a way to move forward. Sunday's election doesn't give us a way out of that."

Listen to Dr. Nesiba's complete interview with SDPB.

In January 2014, 105 Augustana students spent the month studying abroad for J-Term, a deep-dive study experience that enables students to study abroad, participate in internships and take advantage of special, one-time courses.