Thai Politicians: A Social Media Analysis

Thailand ranks in the top ten of social media use worldwide, ranking eighth in the world in terms of Facebook usage. This isn't a surprise; just consider the number of Thai netizens who are permanently glued to their smartphones on the skytrain and subway. It follows logically, then, that social media would be fertile ground [...]

On the “20 Year National Strategy”

Many things can spark a tantrum from General Prayut Chan o-cha. One of them is talk about ripping apart the junta's 20-year national strategy. Most recently, at a forum organized by the National Economic and Social Development Board, the prime minister blasted critics of his national strategy. "Several parties said if or when they become the [...]

Thailand’s New Political Battleground

For the longest time possible, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has attempted to stay mum on his political future. He cast himself as a reluctant coup-maker, who held power only to rescue his country from falling further into a deep and prolonged crisis. He said repeatedly that he did not enjoy being in power, even as [...]

3 Ways to Solve Bangkok’s Traffic Problem

Today Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, in his bid to connect to ordinary people and showcase his pragmatic thinking, hopped on the skytrain for an "inspection trip". Lamenting the state of traffic in Bangkok, he ordered officials to alleviate congestion in the city within three months. His intention is admirable. After all, the capital's traffic is [...]

Thailand in Crisis: Thaksinocracy

This is the third post in the Thailand in Crisis series. The previous post, Thaksinomics, described Thaksin Shinawatra’s populism and economic policies which allowed him to earn massive rural support.  As prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra was a self-professed admirer of the longtime Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew. In a way, this was understandable; Thaksin focused his [...]

Thailand in Crisis: Thaksinomics

This is the third post in the Thailand in Crisis series. The previous post, The Rise of Thaksin, described Thaksin Shinawatra’s 2001 election victory and rise to the premiership.  To understand the immense popularity of Thaksin's premiership, his economic platforms are key. A company is a country. A country is a company. They are the [...]

The Republican Party is Complicit

"You must think Americans are so stupid," an American friend said to me in a state of despair that the American president is hopelessly corrupt, hopelessly stupid, or hopelessly blackmailed, or all three. President Donald Trump's terrible, no good, very bad European trip has concluded, and it was, possibly, the most disastrous overseas visit by [...]

9 Things We Learned From the Thai Cave Operation

The biggest news story in Thailand for the past week has undoubtedly been the story of the Tham Luang cave operation to rescue the 12 Thai youth soccer players and their coach. This operation, to put it mildly, has no precedent in Thailand; millions of Thais have remained glued to television or Twitter (or another [...]

Thailand in Crisis: The Rise of Thaksin

This is the second post in the Thailand in Crisis series. The previous post, Setting the Stage, described Thaksin Shinawatra's political activity during the turbulent period of the 1990s. At a seminar at Harvard University, Abhisit Vejjajiva recalled telling then-Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai that he could not think of a time a government working with [...]

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