What Thailand Can Learn From Taiwan’s Last Dictator

My piece for Thai Enquirer today: It is unfortunate, from this tale of Taiwanese democracy, that Thailand is still stuck where Taiwan was in the mid-20th century: seen by elites as unready for democracy, needing the “tutelage” of supposedly benevolent military dictatorship. Palang Pracharath, also armed with the temporary provisions of a constitution that will […]

International School Students and Political Apathy?

This isn’t really an article but I did want to note a couple of thoughts that I had. Recently, attention in the Thai English-language media has focused on international school students and their “political apathy.” In particular, Khaosod English ran an investigative piece about the lack of concern international school students have for the current […]

The military’s mindset is too outdated for the 21st century

My article for the Thai Enquirer: There is one ritual that many Thai men will undergo if they are privileged enough at the end of their secondary education. Ror Dor, as it is known colloquially, Territorial Defense students officially, and ROTC to the rest of the world. The course is intended to fill out the […]

Reconciling Thailand’s Political Generation Gap

My piece for Thai Enquirer: On July 19, in one corner of Thai Twitter, a question was posed. “Do your family members have differing political perspectives? And if so, how do you live together?”  Never mention politics at the Thanksgiving dinner; so goes the timeless American wisdom. It appears that many young Thais follow the […]

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 […]