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Thailand Studies


The Thailand Studies Programme at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute promotes analysis of and scholarship on contemporary Thailand. Its goal is to develop 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 Coordinators

The co-coordinators of the Thailand Studies Programme are Michael Montesano (michaelmontesano@iseas.edu.sg) and Benjamin Loh (benloh@iseas.edu.sg). Please contact the co-coordinators for further information on the Thailand Studies Programme.


Current Researchers

Michael Montesano
Benjamin Loh
Yos Santasombat
Pongphisoot Busbarat


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

 

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.