Fostering Norms to Sustain Thailand’s Democracy

My article, ‘Fostering Norms to Sustain Thailand’s Democracy’, was recently published in the Bangkok Post! …we cannot postpone the next election forever, and eventually Thailand must re-democratise. We must begin to consider how the country can avoid returning to the vicious cycle of the past. Namely, how can we ensure that democracy will finally take root […]

Defining ‘Thai-Style Democracy’

Our country cannot afford any more conflicts. We certainly need to have a democracy. But it must be a Thai-niyom democracy- that is, a Thai-style democracy. -Prayut Chan-o-cha, January 2018 What exactly is the ‘Thai-style democracy’ that prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha talks about? Is it like socialism with Chinese characteristics, but applied to democracy in a Thai […]

For Prayut, Mahathir Not a Warning Sign

Southeast Asia has never been a beacon of democracy, but its democratic backsliding has been more than apparent in the past few years. Thailand underwent a military coup in 2014; the coup’s four year anniversary is coming up shortly. Philippines is now under the rule of strongman Rodrigo Duterte, who seems to have scant respect […]

Time for the Curtain Call

Valentine’s Day is typically a time for romance between lovers, but the prime minister had different ideas. Prayut chose to release a new pop single, ‘Diamond Heart’, a song ostensibly about how two lovers must remain steadfast together despite the challenges they face. “Make your heart a real diamond, unrelenting/Side by side today together, obstacles […]

Reflections on Reconciliation

Late last year, rumours began bubbling in the Thai media that the two biggest political parties, the Pheu Thai party and the Democratic party, were weighing an alliance in the next election. Chaturon Chaisaeng, a former minister under Yingluck Shinawatra, said, “If the two parties can’t join hands, it cannot form a government”. This idea […]