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  • News & article

    Where Northeast, Southeast Asia meet

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 13/12/2019

    » That the post-Second World War liberal international order is unravelling is no longer in dispute. While there are ongoing issues and challenges about how and to what extent the incumbent rules-based international order that has been so beneficial to so many nations and peoples in their course of economic development can still be maintained, there is broad agreement that the international system as we know it has run its course.

  • News & article

    What next with China as a superpower?

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 04/10/2019

    » The spectacular celebrations to mark the People's Republic of China's 70th anniversary of its founding were the culmination of a sweeping ideological struggle over the past century between two competing systems of socio-economic and political organisation. Under the stewardship of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from 1921, China has now arrived as a 21st century superpower with an unprecedented hybrid of totalitarian control and a capitalist market economy, the successor state to the old Soviet Union whose demise nearly 30 years ago was attributable to its rigid collectivism over market capitalism.

  • News & article

    New cabinet puts power grab on display

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 12/07/2019

    » As if to remind the Thai public of what the past five years of military-authoritarian rule has been all about, the first post-election cabinet under Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha now represents the full manifestation of what was no less than a power grab.

  • News & article

    5 years backwards under military rule

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 24/05/2019

    » Now that five years have elapsed since Thailand's last military coup, it is an opportune juncture to take stock of where the country is heading. When it seized power in May 2014, the military junta, known as the National Council for Peace and Order, initially had legitimacy from royal ascent and broad approval from its restoration of stability and order after more than half a year of street protests in Bangkok by the People's Democratic Reform Committee that was intent on overthrowing the Pheu Thai government.

  • News & article

    What to look for in Thai election results

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 22/03/2019

    » Elections are often a referendum on incumbencies. Voters are asked whether they like what they have seen from government and whether they want continuity or change in view of competing alternatives. In the same vein, Thailand's momentous election on March 24, after a nearly eight-year hiatus that includes almost five years under military-authoritarian rule, is an opportunity to see what the governed prefer to have as their government. Here are some of early telltale signs that portend the political directions ahead.

  • News & article

    Debunking two myths of the 2014 coup

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 19/10/2018

    » As momentum towards the next general election gathers pace, the two main myths that underpinned Thailand's most recent military coup in May 2014 deserve debunking. Both are associated with the military's role in politics. Seeing through these two perpetuated myths leaves us with the reality that all players in Thai politics are in pursuit of power and vested interests. All pretence to the contrary is sheer falsehood, hypocrisy and political manipulation.

  • News & article

    The annals of Thailand's military dictators

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 12/10/2018

    » As Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha eyes longer-term power beyond the next election, his eventual legacy will be compared to other military leaders who have come and gone as heads of past Thai governments. Had he left office or stepped down to run for it earlier, Gen Prayut might be in a better place. As things stand, his tenure and subsequent exit from the political scene does not appear promising for how he will be seen in hindsight.

  • News & article

    The Trump-Kim summit and its aftermath

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 15/06/2018

    » The unprecedented and dramatic summit meeting between President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un, the current leaders of the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (otherwise known as North Korea), will go down in history as another case of "better the devil you know than the devil you don't". Since the Korean War stopped without a permanent truce in 1953, the world has become accustomed to the North Korean regime as a menace to regional peace and stability with ominous global ramifications because of its nuclear weapons.

  • News & article

    Graft gobbling up our dream of democracy

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 20/04/2018

    » Corruption lurks everywhere where power intersects interest. No country is immune to it. At issue is what happens when corruption happens. News headlines against corruption in major Asian countries this week suggest that Thailand is lagging behind in the anti-corruption struggle. Countries can stay behind in all manner of well-being indicators from growth and education to infrastructure and healthcare, but being left behind by the scourge of corruption is ultimately the worst of all.

  • News & article

    A year of living dangerously in Thailand

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 05/01/2018

    » They were supposed to be in power for the royal transition but they have stayed too long and now want to win an unavoidable election.

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