On Barbarians and Civilisations

Earlier this year, I wrote an essay to apply for the University of Michigan’s honours program. It was a piece of writing about history that I quite enjoyed writing. The following was the prompt: The Austrian writer and social critic Karl Kraus wrote, “Civilisations end, since barbarians erupt from it.” Our question to you is, what …

The Story of Thai Democracy: Lessons Learned

Thailand, today, remains mired in a political crisis. The country is still as divided as ever. Conflict over what Thai democracy should really be like remains. Trouble seems to continue to loom by the time the next election comes around. In these circumstances, it would be probable that many would now be dusting off their …

The Story of Thai Democracy: Black May

This post is the ninth post in the series ‘The Story of Thai Democracy’, covering the political history of Thailand since the transition from absolute to constitutional monarchy. You can see the rest of this project here.  The era of Generals Kriangsak Chamanan and Prem Tinsulanonda had been peaceful and stable, but what did not …

The Story of Thai Democracy: Premier Prem

This post is the eighth post in the series ‘The Story of Thai Democracy’, covering the political history of Thailand since the transition from absolute to constitutional monarchy. You can see the rest of this project here.  The period between the twin October tragedies had been chaotic even by the standards of Thai politics. True, …

The Story of Thai Democracy: Octobers of Tragedy

This post is the seventh post in the series ‘The Story of Thai Democracy’, covering the political history of Thailand since the transition from absolute to constitutional monarchy. You can see the rest of this project here.  The death of Sarit Thanarat left a vacancy in the post of prime minister. Aside from the scandalous …

The Story of Thai Democracy: The Triumvirate

This post is the fifth post in the series ‘The Story of Thai Democracy’, covering the political history of Thailand since the transition from absolute to constitutional monarchy. You can see the rest of this project here.  On 29 June 1951, prime minister Plaek Phibulsongkram (Phibun) was aboard the US navy ship Manhattan to attend the …

#ThaiCoup

On the 22nd of May the Thai military under General Prayuth Chan-ocha seized power and deposed the remnants of a pro-Thaksin government. The opposition’s ‘victory’ is finally here, but the future of the country remains as perilous as ever. In an army compound where talks on how to resolve the bitter and protracted crisis were …

Trip to Sukhothai

I’m back from an amazing week spent on a school residential trip at Sukhothai! For any of the few readers that I have from outside Thailand, Sukhothai may not be a super-familiar name; situated up north, around 700 years ago it was the first capital city of Thailand.  Last year, the trip I took was …

Thailand: the Political Mess

Politics isn’t a subject that I’ve ever brought up on here, but I think that with the crazy mess that’s going on in Thailand it’d be nice to do some talking about that. I try to avoid being political online, whether it be here on my blog, or on Twitter, or Facebook, or anywhere else. …