Five Things to Watch for in Post-Lockdown Politics

My analysis for Thai Enquirer: In late February and early March, Thailand looked like it had arrived at a political turning point. A no-confidence debate aimed at multiple cabinet ministers had just failed. A wave of student demonstrations had erupted across the country, sparked by anger at the dissolution of the Future Forward Party on […]

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 […]

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. […]

Future Forward Is the Future’s Foreword

“The laws of physics”, Stephen Hawking once wrote, “conspire to prevent time travel on a macroscopic scale.” Time travel, both forward and backwards, were not possibilities to be ruled out, but the physicist made it clear that it was highly unlikely. He had, after all, once hosted a party for time travelers, the invite to […]

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. […]