The Politics of Epidemic Immunity

My new piece for the Thai Enquirer: “It won’t take long for Thais to develop immunity from coronavirus”, the post read, “but if we don’t deal with the nation-hating virus, a crisis will ensue.”  Dr. Warong Dechgitvigrom is not a politician known for pulling his punches, and this Facebook post was true to form. ‘Lutti chung-chard’, [...]

Thailand Has Five Deputy PMs. That’s Dysfunctional.

The vice presidency of the United States, a particularly unhappy occupant of that office once said, is "not worth a bucket of warm piss." Second in command is a prestigious title, but politicians throughout history have often approached it with a degree of caution. Playing second fiddle can imply great responsibility or none at all. [...]

This Government Is Lost

Tianming, the citizens of ancient China called this concept; "heaven's will", or as translated to English, the "mandate of heaven." It was the philosophical underpinning of the imperial regime. The Emperor, the Son of Heaven, ruled not merely because he had proved able to exercise an effective monopoly on the use of force. No; it [...]

Thai Conservatives Should Embrace Democracy

My article in the newly-launched Thai Enquirer:  ...Just because pro-democracy conservatism did not work the first time does not mean that it cannot work in the future, under inspired leadership and a more credible commitment to democratic ideals. With the ongoing implosion of the Democrat Party, is there room for such a party to emerge? [...]

Dueling Rallies

Bangkok's smog makes outside physical activity a little less than an inviting prospect, but tens of thousands braved the pollution today for a curious Sunday morning activity: exercise with a heavy political tone. 'Run Against Dictatorship' (#วิ่งไล่ลุง, literally 'Run to Oust Uncle') and 'Walk for Prayut' (#เดินเชียร์ลุง, or 'Walk to Cheer Uncle') were the most [...]

Thai-US Relations in the Spotlight

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai is not regarded to have a tendency to create headlines. Yet this week, the longtime diplomat found himself in the spotlight after an epic gaffe. The United States, Don said, had informed Thailand of its intentions regarding Iran one day before the strike on Soleimani. Surprising remarks, to be sure, given [...]

Thailand in 2019: A Changing Cultural Constitution

2019 was a year when so much happened, yet simultaneously nothing happened. Clichés are always risked when quoting Charles Dickens, but I found it difficult to avoid this one from A Christmas Carol when describing Thailand in 2019: "It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair". There were moments of rays [...]

Thoughts on Thailand’s First Post-Coup Mass Protest

Finals are coming, time is a limited resource but somehow interesting things in politics always happen when I'm busy. (Either that, or things are just always interesting in Thailand.) I do want to put in my two cents about the first large protest in Bangkok since 2014, however, so I decided to crank out a [...]

For Section 44, Chaos on the House Floor

This past week saw parliamentary chaos over whether or not to establish a committee examining the now-defunct National Council for Peace & Order's usage of Section 44, which permitted the NCPO chief to issue absolute executive commands. The fiasco went briefly as follows: the government initially lost the vote, as six members of Prime Minister [...]

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