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Thailand Studies

ISEAS Library Selects: Latest News on Thailand

 

ISEAS LIBRARY SELECTS: MONTHLY NEWS ON THAILAND 

MARCH 2016

1. CDC reduces power of charter court ‘for crises’: THE CONSTITUTION Drafting Commission (CDC) has decided where power will lie in critical legal situations when no clauses in the constitution are applicable. It will no longer reside with the Constitutional Court alone. Instead it will be up to the court, the heads of the three power branches and independent organisations to decide jointly which measures or rules should apply, the CDC has resolved. Also, the drafters have decided to transfer the Constitutional Court’s power over the “ethical standards” of politicians and civil servants to the Supreme Court.

Nation, 9 March 2016
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/CDC-reduces-power-of-charter-court-for-crises-30281113.html

2. Senate ‘should not select PM’: PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday remained firm on his call for selected senators during a five-year transitional period, although he said they should not be authorised to vote for a prime minister. Suggesting that MPs should be exclusively authorised to pick the prime minister, as has been typical in the past, Prayut said the new charter draft should empower senators to “take care of the charter so it won’t be stripped out by politicians”.

A selected Senate should also promote good governance, national strategies and the junta-led reform agenda, he said. Prayut said elected senators had led to problems due to a lack of good governance in the past, adding that the Senate could be elected when voters were ready.
Nation, 9 March 2016
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Senate-should-not-select-PM-30281112.html

3. Thailand should look hard at the changes in Myanmar: THE THAI government needs to pay more attention to political developments in Myanmar and its capital Nay Pyi Taw. It doesn’t matter whether Aung San Suu Kyi is able to assume the presidency

First and foremost: the nature of the new administration in Nay Pyi Taw is totally different from the outgoing one and notably from the current Thai regime. President Thein Sein, who will step down at the end of the month, is a former commander who heads the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). It would be more precise to say that the USDP is the civilian political wing of the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Armed Forces).
Supalak Ganjanakhundee
Nation, 9 March 2016
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Thailand-should-look-hard-at-the-changes-in-Myanma-30281115.html

4. A new order needs to rise from the ashes: Blame it on Facebook or online communities where millions of people give their opinions and make their emotions known every day, unhindered.

We can also blame it on the ongoing drought, a failure of education or problems of inequality. The result will still be the same: Thai society has arrived at a point when the old order has crumbled while a new one has not been born.

It is a society where there is a cacophony of opinions, but no ability to form an agreement.
One thing that shows Thailand is in an existential crisis is a rapid breakdown of hegemonic powers and moral leadership.
Atiya Achakulwisut
Bangkok Post, 8 March 2016
http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/889828/a-new-order-needs-to-rise-from-the-ashes

5. Big Brother’ up against rare political alliance: It’s not often the two arch political rivals, the Democrat and Pheu Thai parties, see eye-to-eye on a controversial political issue.

In recent days, core members of both parties came out spontaneously against the proposal by the National Council for Peace and Order that the entire senate be appointed and serve a five-year transitional period after the next general election.

On top of that, the NCPO appears determined to stay in control for that five years, supposedly to make sure the government formed after the elections will not stray off the reform guidelines set by the national strategic committee, which has Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha at its head and several of his brothers-in-arms in the NCPO as members.
Veera Prateepchaikul
Bangkok Post, 8 March 2016
http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/890076/big-brother-up-against-rare-political-alliance

6. Authoritarian rule and the dimming of Thailand’s star: Bangkok is no longer the regional nexus. Aspiring and career-building ambassadors now prefer alternative postings because not much can get done at high-level diplomatic engagements, as the military government in Bangkok is shunned by much of the rest of the world. There are bilateral and diplomatic accomplishments to be had with more authoritarian countries, like China and Russia, but envoys from democracies can find only crisis-management work in a holding pattern if posted to Bangkok. Only veteran ambassadors up for a last posting, as opposed to those who are younger and up-and-coming, still consider Bangkok attractive for an enjoyable last hurrah. Moreover, Bangkok is no longer the hub for diplomatic coverage of mainland South-east Asia, as a host of embassies have been set up in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.
Thitinan Pongsudhirak teaches international political economy and directs the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.
Straits Times, 8 March 2016
http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/authoritarian-rule-and-the-dimming-of-thailands-star

 

Latest Announcements

 

Latest Announcements

1. LATEST ISEAS TRENDS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ISSUE #13

A new issue of Trends in Southeast Asia has recently been published and is written by Porphant Ouyyanont. The issue is titled “Crown Property Bureau in Thailand and its Role in Political Economy” and is downloadable here.

2. THAILAND PROGRAMME VISITING FELLOW, DR ACHAKORN WONGPREDEE

Dr Achakorn Wongpredee, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public Administration, National Institute of Development Administration, will be at ISEAS until September 2015.

3. THAILAND PROGRAMME VISITING SENIOR FELLOW, DR THONGCHAI WINICHAKUL

Dr Thongchai Winichakul, Professor, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be at ISEAS until January 2016.

4. THAILAND PROGRAMME VISITING SENIOR FELLOW, DR TANET CHAROENMUANG

Dr Tanet Charoenmuang, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Chiang Mai University, will be at ISEAS until August 2015.

5. THAILAND PROGRAMME VISITING SENIOR FELLOW, DR PORPHANT OUYYANONT

Dr Porphant Ouyyanont, Associate Professor, School of Economics, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, will be at ISEAS until January 2015.

Return to Thailand Studies Programme Main Page

 

Thailand Studies

 


The Thailand Studies Programme at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute promotes analysis of and scholarship on contemporary Thailand. Its goal is to develop an understanding of the country among the full range of parties concerned with its mid-term and long-term future: governments, the media, journalists, international organizations, civil society, the private sector and scholars.

The foci of the programme are three-fold — on political dynamics, social change, and cultural trends. In its attention to politics, the concerns of the programme include party and electoral politics, Thailand’s place in regional politics and geopolitics, regionalism and decentralization, the state of Thai institutions, constitutionalism and royalism, and the impact of politics on economic competitiveness and the investment climate. Social issues that fall within the programme’s purview are migration and demographic change, religion, ethnicity, the Thai education system, the relationship between urban and rural Thailand, the middle classes, and sectorial industries like tourism. In the area of cultural trends, the arts and literature, the media and mass consumption patterns number among topics of interest. The programme seeks to build institutional links to scholars, analysts and centres involved in the study of modern Thailand, not least those in Thailand itself.

Programme Coordinator

The Coordinator of the Thailand Studies Programme is Dr Michael Montesano (michaelmontesano@iseas.edu.sg). Please contact the coordinator for further information on the Thailand Studies Programme.

Current Researchers

Dr Michael Montesano, michael_montesano@iseas.edu.sg
Dr Termsak Chalermpalanupap, termsak_chalermpalanupap@iseas.edu.sg


Past Affiliates

ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute has a long history of hosting scholars from Thailand. Among those previously affiliated with the Institute are the following:

Tanet Charonenmaung Porphant Ouyyanont Thongchai Winichakul
Achakorn Wongpreedee Pasuk Phongpaichit Sukhumbhand Paribatra
Anek Laothamatas Pavin Chachavalpongpun Sunya Sunyavivat
Chaiwat Satha-Anand Phiphat Tangsubkul Surichai Wun’Gaeo
Charnvit Kasetsiri Pranee Chitkornkijsil Surin Maisrikrod
Khien Theeravit Prudhisan Jumbala Suthiphand Chiravithvat
Kusuma Snitwongse Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Thamsook Numnonda
Medhi Krongkaew Puangthong R. Pawakapan Thitinan Pongsudhirak
Narongchai Akrasanee Suchit Bunbongkarn Aekapol Chongvilaivan
Prajak Kongkirati Nipit Wongpunya Micah Francis Morton
Pongphisoot Busbarat Yos Santasombat Punchada Sirivunnabood
Supalak Ganjanakhundee Nursyazwani bte Jamaludin Sihasak Phuangketkeow

Thailand Forum, 2015

The Thailand Studies Programme hosted a Thailand Forum conference in Singapore from 27–28 July 2015. The conference convened a small number of scholars and other analysts from Thailand and elsewhere to present research on political dynamics, social change and cultural trends in Thailand. It will result in the publication of an edited volume.


Seminars

For upcoming seminars, please see the events page of the main ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute website.

Seminars over the past years:

  • “Rising Religious and Ethnic Politics in the Upper Mekong Region”, 7 August 2017
  • “The Thai Military’s Civil Affairs Projects: From Counter-Insurgency to Counter-Democracy”, 3 July 2017
  • “A 500 Years ‘Cosmic Ritual’: The Cremation of a Royal Corpse in Thailand”, 21 March 2017
  • “Is Thailand Ripe for Liberalism?”, 2 March 2017
  • “Thailand’s Constitutional Referendum Results: Political Meanings and Implications”, 15 August 2016
  • ““Bamboo Swirling in the Wind”: Thailand’s Foreign Policy in the Regional Power Competition”, 7 March 2016
  • “Royalist Guided Democracy in Thailand: How It Operates”, 8 January 2016
  • “The Perils of Power: Thailand’s Anti-Democratic Elites and the Challenge of Replacing Dictatorship with a Constitutional Regime”, 30 October 2015
  • “Spirits of Power in 21st Century Thailand: Magic and the Supernatural at the Centre of Political Authority in Thailand”, 10 September 2015
  • “Thailand: A Post-May Assessment”, 19 May 2015
  • “The Crown Property Bureau in Thailand”, 13 March 2015
  • “Is Myanmar a Model for the Thai Political Order?”, 28 October 2014
  • “What Went Wrong with the Thai Democracy?”, 11 July 2014
  • “Thailand: The Return of Bureaucratic Polity”, 23 September 2014
  •  “Thai Politics – a State of Suspended Animation”, 30 July 2013


Publications

ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute has published research and analysis on Thailand in wide range of formats. Each edition of the bimonthly ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute Monitor and the annual Southeast Asian Affairs covers Thailand. Scholarship and research on Thailand regularly appears in the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute journals Contemporary Southeast AsiaThe Journal of Southeast Asian Economies and SOJOURN: Social Issues in Southeast Asia.

ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute Perspective Issues

Titles include the following:

Pongphisoot Busbarat China’s “Shame Offensive”: The Omission of Thailand’s Prime Minister from the Belt and Road Initiative Summit 2017 (19 July 2017)
Peter A Jackson Royal Warrants of Appointment Grant Prestige and Goodwill in Thai Business Culture (4 May 2017)
Peter A Jackson A Grateful Son, a Military King: Thai Media Accounts of the Accession of Rama X to the Throne (26 April 2017)
Micah F Morton The Indigenous People’s Movement in Thailand Expands (16 December 2016)
Daljit Singh, Le Hong Hiep, Malcolm Cook, Mustafa Izzudin, Michael J Montesano, Ulla Fionna, and Ye Htut Special Issue: How Southeast Asia is Sizing Up Trump’s Election Victory (8 December 2016)
Nipit Wongpunya What Thailand Needs to Do to Become a High-Income Country (11 October 2016)
Prajak Kongkirati Thailand’s Political Future Remains Uncertain (26 July 2016)
National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) Survey Findings in Thailand on Public Attitudes towards Local Administration, and towards Politicians and Conflicts of Interest (26 May 2016)
Li Renliang Dancing with the Dragon: The Trans-Asia Railway and its Impact on Thailand (4 March 2016)
National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) Survey Findings on Public Familiarity and Confidence in Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) Members, and Public Opinion over Posting Images of Alcohol on Social Media (24 December 2015)
Puangthong Pawakapan Protracted Period in Power Can Prove Perilous for Thailand’s Military Government (19 November 2015)
National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) Thailand Surveys: On Priorities in Domestic Issues and On Reactions to International Criticism on Human Rights (15 October 2015)
Thongchai Winichakul The Hazing Scandals in Thailand Reflect Deeper Problems in Social Relations (9 October 2015)
Puangthong Pawakapan Thai Junta Militarizes the Management of Natural Resources (3 September 2015)
National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) Findings from Latest Surveys from Thailand on the “Proposal to Establish Casinos for Government Revenue” and “Comparing NCPO 2014 Coup with CNS 2006 Coup” (21 August 2015)
National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) Findings from Latest Surveys on The Thai Prime Minister and the Media and The Draft of Constitution (2015) (3 June 2015)
National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) Survey Findings on Freedom and Democracy under the Prayuth Government and Buddhism Reforms in Thailand (16 April 2015)
Puangthong Pawakapan Multiple Targets of Thailand’s Martial Law (12 March 2015)
Puangthong Pawakapan Will Thailand’s New Constitution Be a Return to Authoritarianism? (27 January 2015)
Porphant Ouyyanont Thailand: A New Polity in the Making? (7 November 2014)
Patrick Jory Thailand Has Entered the Interregnum (21 October 2014)
Puangthong Pawakapan The Thai Junta’s Interim Constitution: Towards an Anti-Electoral Democracy (12 August 2014)
Cassey Lee Whither Thailand’s Juntanomics? (8 July 2014)
Su-Ann Oh Burmese Refugees in Thailand — Should they stay or should they go? (24 March 2014)
Pavin Chachavalpongpun Japan Pursues a ‘Thailand-Plus-One’ Strategy (13 March 2014)
Michael J. Montesano What is to come in Thailand? (10 February 2014)
Puangthong Pawakapan Can the ICJ ruling end the dispute between Thailand and Cambodia? (26 September 2013)
John Lee China’s Economic Influence in Thailand: Perception or Reality? (11 July 2013)
Michael J. Montesano The Struggle to Amend Thailand’s Constitution (1 July 2013)
Kornphanat Tungkeunkunt China’s Soft Power in Thailand (3 Jun 2013)
Su-Ann Oh Rohingya Boat Arrivals in Thailand: From the frying paninto the fire? (4 March 2013)

Trends in Southeast Asia

The Trends in Southeast Asia series on Thailand includes:

Books

ISEAS Publications has also published a wide range of influential monographs and edited volumes on Thailand. These include the following titles.