ISEAS LIBRARY SELECTS: MONTHLY NEWS ON THAILAND
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
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
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).
Nation, 9 March 2016
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.
Bangkok Post, 8 March 2016
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.
Bangkok Post, 8 March 2016
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
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.
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.
The Coordinator of the Thailand Studies Programme is Dr Termsak Chalermpalanupap. Please contact the coordinator for further information on the Thailand Studies Programme.
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|
|Paul Wesley Chambers||Anusorn Unno||Alexandra Dalferro|
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.
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
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 Asia, The Journal of Southeast Asian Economies and SOJOURN: Social Issues in Southeast Asia.
ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute Perspective Issues
Titles include the following:
Trends in Southeast Asia
The Trends in Southeast Asia series on Thailand includes:
|Tanet Charoenmuang||The Red Shirts and Their Democratic Struggle in Northern Thailand, April 2010 to May 2015 (2016)|
|Porphant Ouyyanont||Rural Thailand: Change and Continuity (2016)|
|Thongchai Winichakul||Thailand’s Hyper-royalism: Its Past Success and Present Predicament (2016)|
|Ian Storey||Thailand’s Post-Coup Relations with China and America: More Beijing, Less Washington (2015)|
|Puangthong R. Pawakapan||The Foreign Press’ Changing Perceptions of Thailand’s Monarchy (2015)|
|Porphant Ouyyanont||Crown Property Bureau in Thailand and its Role in Political Economy (2015)|
|Charles Keyes||Democracy Thwarted: The Crisis of Political Authority in Thailand (2015)|
|Amporn Jirattikorn||Managing Migration in Myanmar and Thailand: Economic Reforms, Policies, Practices and Challenges (2015)|
|John Lee||China’s Engagement with Southeast Asia: Thailand (2013)|
ISEAS Publications has also published a wide range of influential monographs and edited volumes on Thailand. These include the following titles.
- Anusorn Unno, “We Love Mr King”: Malay Muslims of Southern Thailand in the Wake of the Unrest (2018)
- Porphant Ouyyanont, A Regional Economic History of Thailand (2017)
- Juthathip Jongwanich, Capital Mobility in Asia: Causes and Consequences (2017)
- Edward Van Roy, Siamese Melting Pot: Ethnic Minorities in the Making of Bangkok (2017)
- Sascha Helbardt, Deciphering Southern Thailand’s Violence: Organization and Insurgent Practices of BRN-Coordinate (2015)
- Pavin Chachavalpongpun, ed., “Good Coup” Gone Bad: Thailand’s Political Development since Thaksin’s Downfall (2014)
- Puangthong R. Pawakapan, State and Uncivil Society in Thailand at the Temple of Preah Vihear (2013)
- Michael J. Montesano, Pavin Chachavalpongpun, and Aekapol Chongvilaivan, eds., Bangkok, May 2010: Perspectives on a Divided Thailand (2012)
- Aekapol Chongvilaivan, Harnessing Production Networks: Impacts and Policy Implications from Thailand’s Manufacturing Industries (2011)
- Patarapong Intarakumnerd and Yveline Lecler, eds., Sustainability of Thailand’s Competitiveness: The Policy Challenges (2010)
- Pavin Chachavalpongpun, Reinventing Thailand: Thaksin and His Foreign Policy (2010)
- John Funston, ed., Divided Over Thaksin: Thailand’s Coup and Problematic Transition (2009, co-published with Silkworm Books)
- Joseph Chinyong Liow, Islam, Education and Reform in Southern Thailand: Tradition and Transformation (2009)
- Pasuk Phongpaichit and Chris Baker, Thai Capital after the 1997 Crisis (2008)
- Sakulrat Montreevat, ed., Corporate Governance in Thailand (2005)
- Duncan McCargo, ed., Reforming Thai Politics (2002, co-published with NIAS Press)
- Ruth McVey, ed., Money and Power in Provincial Thailand (2001, co-published with Silkworm Books and NIAS Press)
- Pasuk Phongpaichit and Chris Baker, Thailand’s Crisis (2000, co-published with Silkworm Books)
- Jonathan Rigg, ed., Counting the Costs: Economic Growth and Environmental Change in Thailand (2000)
- William A. Callahan, Imagining Democracy: Reading “The Events of May” in Thailand (1998)
- Jim Taylor, Forest Monks and the Nation-State: An Anthropological and Historical Study in Northeastern Thailand (1993)
- Scot Barmé, Luang Wichit Wathakan and the Creation of a Thai Identity (1993)
- Peter A. Jackson, Buddhism, Legitimation, and Conflict: The Political Functions of Urban Thai Buddhism in the 19th and 20th Centuries (1989)
- Suchit Bunbongkarn, The Military in Thai Politics 1981-86 (1987)
- Somboon Suksamran, Military Elite in Thai Politics: Brief Biographical Data on the Officers in the Thai Legislature (1984)
- Hong Lysa, Thailand in the Nineteenth Century: Evolution of the Economy and Society (1984)
- Chai-Anan Samudavanija, The Thai Young Turks (1982)
- Somboon Suksamran, Buddhism and Politics in Thailand (1982)