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 [...]

Coronavirus and the Future of Work and Learning

My piece for the Thai Enquirer on how coronavirus could shape the trajectory of work and learning in the future: In 2013, a book titled The Year Without Pants was published. The author did not have a Roman aversion to the wearing of pants (it was a barbaric practice, they had insisted). He was, instead, writing about [...]

How Siamese Cannon Ended up at the Bastille

As we’ve all been inundated with coronavirus coverage, much of it being rather depressing, I’ve decided to start writing about random aspects of Thai politics and history not related to the ongoing pandemic. Here's my piece last week on how the Thai prime minister's residence is supposedly haunted. In 1789 the Bastille, an imposing representation of [...]

The Haunted Residence of Thailand’s Prime Minister

As we've all been inundated with coronavirus coverage, much of it being rather depressing, I've decided to start writing about random aspects of Thai politics and history not related to the ongoing pandemic. I hope you enjoy this first installment! In February, a controversy blew up when it emerged that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was [...]

In Times of Crisis, Scrutiny Becomes Duty

My new article for the Thai Enquirer: King Rama VI, a distinguished poet, once wrote the Sepha Samakee Sevok, exhorting the Thai people to unite as one under common leadership. A metaphor that he deployed was that of Siam as a ship. “The people are sailors in the sea, who must display a common unity”, the [...]

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