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? […]

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 […]

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 […]

Three Takeaways From the Thanathorn Ruling

The ruling by the Constitutional Court on Future Forward party leader Thanathorn Juangroongrueangkit’s media shareholding case was not unexpected. Indeed, it would have been a shock if the decision went another way. This article is not a commentary on the substance of the ruling; it has already happened, and there isn’t much to be gained […]

The Ant Has Bad Dreams

“I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself king of infinite space”, Hamlet said in his namesake play. This year, ASEAN has been Thailand’s nutshell and its chairmanship has allowed the government to exercise a degree of leadership over an unwieldy coalition. Given that Thailand’s previous chairmanship of ASE1AN in 2009 was borderline […]

Building Broad Support for Constitutional Reform

My new article in the Bangkok Post on building consensus for constitutional reform in Thailand: As is characteristic of our polarised society, opinion is deeply divided on whether the 2017 constitution should be amended. Some will say that constitutional revision is effectively hopeless, a remote possibility until the powers that be permit an amendment. The […]

The Fault in Our Cobras

When Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ran for a second term, he did so with the slogan ‘munkong, mungkung, yungyuen’ — stability, prosperity, sustainability. Three months after the election, his government looks neither stable nor sustainable. Instead, it reminds us of British prime minister Theresa May’s ‘strong and stable’ image that proceeded to produce the weakest […]