The military’s mindset is too outdated for the 21st century

My article for the Thai Enquirer: There is one ritual that many Thai men will undergo if they are privileged enough at the end of their secondary education. Ror Dor, as it is known colloquially, Territorial Defense students officially, and ROTC to the rest of the world. The course is intended to fill out the [...]

Reconciling Thailand’s Political Generation Gap

My piece for Thai Enquirer: On July 19, in one corner of Thai Twitter, a question was posed. “Do your family members have differing political perspectives? And if so, how do you live together?”  Never mention politics at the Thanksgiving dinner; so goes the timeless American wisdom. It appears that many young Thais follow the [...]

How Thai Schools Can Reform History Teaching

My article for the Thai Enquirer: To control the past is to control the future: a cliché, to be sure, but one too relevant not to state. How Thailand has chosen to craft the history taught to generation after generation of students is an intentional act aimed at instilling national pride. But the propagation of [...]

The Decline of the Pheu Thai Party

My piece for Thai Enquirer: “With respect, I must say that if the government is unable to answer my aforementioned questions, I will not be able to support this budget.”  A threat issued by no lesser a figure than the leader of the opposition to the prime minister during the budget debate, but a threat [...]

The Hubris of Palang Pracharath

My piece for Thai Enquirer: “Never regret thy fall, O Icarus of the fearless flight. For the greatest tragedy of them all, is never to feel the burning light.”  Words penned, supposedly, by Oscar Wilde, and ones that Thailand’s ruling party seems committed to heeding.  Palang Pracharath is currently a party to envy. Helped by [...]

Time to Listen to Thailand Beyond Twitter

My piece for Thai Enquirer: “Nothing is so firmly believed,” the skeptic Michel de Montaigne once wrote, “as that which we least know.”  A fitting corollary to be added could be that nothing is so confidently tweeted as that which we least understand. It is the nature of social media that we create our own [...]

Delayed Local Elections Expose Failure in Decentralization

My piece for Thai Enquirer: Last week, the voters of Kaohsiung, Taiwan voted to throw out their mayor. The disgraced politician, Han Kuo-yu, had just earlier this year been on the presidential ballot. Now he has the dubious honour of being the first local official to be recalled in Taiwan history.  Given the depth of [...]

Gripped by Infighting

“Politicians” as a group tend to be relatively uncontroversial to bash. We may perhaps like individual politicians, and we support certain political parties. Venal, self-interested, and in Thailand’s case, bad people: a positive label is seldom attached when discussing the political class as a whole Of course, the use of such labels, entirely lacking in [...]

Joe Biden’s New Cold War?

My piece for Thai Enquirer: East Asia had for decades depended on both the generosity and might of successive American presidents. The United States has served as the key offshore balancer in East Asia, maintaining a stable power structure that created an environment of peace and prosperity. The occupation of the American throne by an [...]

The View From Bangkok: Black Lives Matter

Originally published in Thai Enquirer — click here. When I arrived to study in the United States, I did not know much about race relations.  Part of it is due to the environment in which I grew up. While at school I learned about the horrors of racism, it was not something I internalized. Watching [...]

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