Delayed Local Elections Expose Failure in Decentralization

My piece for Thai Enquirer: Last week, the voters of Kaohsiung, Taiwan voted to throw out their mayor. The disgraced politician, Han Kuo-yu, had just earlier this year been on the presidential ballot. Now he has the dubious honour of being the first local official to be recalled in Taiwan history.  Given the depth of […]

What’s Behind Thailand’s Coronavirus Success?

Just a brief Axios-style discussion today. I wanted to opine, but certainly not at any considerable length given that I am not an epidemiologist and have no expertise in public health, about what is behind Thailand’s coronavirus success. Thailand has undeniably so far been one of the more successful nations in the world at combating […]

To Make Sure No Thai Is Left Behind, Build a True Team Thailand

My article in the Thai Enquirer this week: Here is a tale of two press conferences. One is held by the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom. He announces that California will be forming a task force to help guide the state’s economic recovery. Newsom invites the task force’s co-chair on stage, and it is Tom […]

On China, Thai Netizens Contradict Official Diplomacy

My new piece for Thai Enquirer: It was a strange digital flareup. Ceaselessly, and seemingly inexplicably, over an entire night and day, Thai and Chinese netizens took to Twitter to rain insults on each other.  Ostensibly, the issue arose over a hapless Thai photographer who, in Thai, wrote that Hong Kong is a “country”. A […]

Coronavirus and the Future of Work and Learning

My piece for the Thai Enquirer on how coronavirus could shape the trajectory of work and learning in the future: In 2013, a book titled The Year Without Pants was published. The author did not have a Roman aversion to the wearing of pants (it was a barbaric practice, they had insisted). He was, instead, writing about […]

The Haunted Residence of Thailand’s Prime Minister

As we’ve all been inundated with coronavirus coverage, much of it being rather depressing, I’ve decided to start writing about random aspects of Thai politics and history not related to the ongoing pandemic. I hope you enjoy this first installment! In February, a controversy blew up when it emerged that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was […]

In Thailand, Politics Back Outside Parliament

Tony Benn, the great British parliamentarian, said that there were five powerful questions that must be asked of a government. “What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And finally, how can we get rid of you?” The last question […]

The Rise of the Bhumjaithai Party

My new piece for the Thai Enquirer: In November 2017, amidst the political drought of long military rule, Reuters ran an article on Anutin Charnvirakul, leader of the Bhumjaithai Party. Many, it reported, were now speculating that he could possibly be the next prime minister. Anutin, for his part, did nothing to play down expectations, […]