New Parties, New Politics? Prospects for Thailand’s 2019 Elections
THAILAND STUDIES PROGRAMME SEMINAR
About the Seminar
Thailand has faced an uncertain political future since the military coup of May 2014. In recent months, a number of new political parties have been formed, in readiness for elections that may – or indeed may not – take place in February 2019. These include the Future Forward Party (led by an alliance of progressive businesspeople and intellectuals), the Phalang Pracharat Party (formed by close associates of the ruling military junta), and the Action Coalition for Thailand Party (which has inherited the mantle of the anti-Thaksin and anti-Yingluck ‘yellow’ movements).
Do these new parties genuinely represent new political choices? Do they pose a serious challenge to that long-dominant duo, the Pheu Thai and Democrat Parties? And will elections usher in a new era of democracy, or simply provide cover for the continuation of de facto military rule?
About the Speaker
Duncan McCargo is professor of political science at the University of Leeds, and visiting professor of political science at Columbia University. He works on the comparative politics of Southeast Asia, with a special focus on Thailand. His ten books include The Thaksinization of Thailand (NIAS, 2005, with Ukrist Pathmanand) and Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand (Cornell, 2008), which won the Asia Society’s inaugural Bernard Schwartz Book Award.