What’s Behind Thailand’s Coronavirus Success?

Just a brief Axios-style discussion today. I wanted to opine, but certainly not at any considerable length given that I am not an epidemiologist and have no expertise in public health, about what is behind Thailand’s coronavirus success. Thailand has undeniably so far been one of the more successful nations in the world at combating […]

Five Things to Watch for in Post-Lockdown Politics

My analysis for Thai Enquirer: In late February and early March, Thailand looked like it had arrived at a political turning point. A no-confidence debate aimed at multiple cabinet ministers had just failed. A wave of student demonstrations had erupted across the country, sparked by anger at the dissolution of the Future Forward Party on […]

Thailand Locked Down Successfully. Now Comes the Hard Part.

Glyn Morgan, a professor at Syracuse University, recently categorized the different strategies that states have been pursuing to respond to the coronavirus. One is what he terms the “Darwinian state”: the state favors limited social distancing and instead largely protects the economy, albeit at immense human cost to those most vulnerable to the virus. The […]

For Thais, Only Disorder in Today’s World Order

My new piece for Thai Enquirer:  Commentators often talk about soft power: the ability to wield influence and shape preferences without having to resort to hard military power. American cultural influence, political values and economic power ensures that it continues to indisputably lead the world in this regard.  America’s image as “shining city on the […]

It’s Time for Thai Parliament, Zoom Edition

Today, government whips announced that he disagreed with the opposition’s calls for parliament to be recalled so that it could deliberate the economic relief bill. “I’m concerned that if parliament meets, we might create another cluster of infections like at the Lumpini boxing stadium, leading the nation to another crisis,” Chief Whip Wirat Ratanaset said. […]

To Make Sure No Thai Is Left Behind, Build a True Team Thailand

My article in the Thai Enquirer this week: Here is a tale of two press conferences. One is held by the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom. He announces that California will be forming a task force to help guide the state’s economic recovery. Newsom invites the task force’s co-chair on stage, and it is Tom […]

Thailand and the Two Chinas

As we’ve all been inundated with coronavirus coverage, much of it being rather depressing, I’ve decided to write about random aspects of Thai politics and history not related to the ongoing pandemic. Here’s my piece last week on how Siamese cannon ended up at the storming of the Bastille. This was an interesting week for enthusiasts of international […]

On China, Thai Netizens Contradict Official Diplomacy

My new piece for Thai Enquirer: It was a strange digital flareup. Ceaselessly, and seemingly inexplicably, over an entire night and day, Thai and Chinese netizens took to Twitter to rain insults on each other.  Ostensibly, the issue arose over a hapless Thai photographer who, in Thai, wrote that Hong Kong is a “country”. A […]