Military, Monarchy and Repression: Assessing Thailand's authoritarian turn 9781138215658

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Military, Monarchy and Repression: Assessing Thailand's authoritarian turn

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Military, Monarchy and Repression

Thailand's politics has been contentious in recent years. With a military coup in 2006 and another in 2014, the country has moved from being a promising electoral democracy to a military dictatorship. Electoral politics was embraced enthusiasti cally by some groups, including those in rural areas of the north and northeast, but came to be feared by groups variously identified as the old elite, royalists and the establishment. Contentious politics saw large and lengthy street protests and considerable violence. "this volume brings together Thailand specialists who examine the background to and the sources of conflict and the turn to authoritarianism. It addresses the return of the military and monarchy to political centre stage, the manner in which sections of civil society and the professional elite have rejected electoral politics and the rise of powerful non-elected bodies such as the Constitutional Court. In assessing Thailand's authoritarianism, the book goes beyond actors and networks to explore inequality, anti-election movements, rural transformations and discourses of "Thai-style democracy" that seek to disenfranchise the majority. The book introduces new concepts to the discussion of Thailand's politics:

flexible oligarchy, deep state, reign-seeking and monarchised military. It provides a comprehensive assessment and new insights into Thailand's politics while also engaging with broader debates on democratic transition and authoritarian persistence. This book was previously published as a special issue of Iournal of Contemporary Asia.

Veerayooth Kanchoochat is an Associate Professor of Political Economy at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Tokyo, Japan. He holds an Mphil and PhD from the University of Cambridge. His main research interests are in comparative economic

and political development, with a focus on Thailand and newly industrialising economies in East and Southeast Asia. Kevin Hewison is a Weldon E. Thornton Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Asian Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and editor-in-chief of the Iourrzal Contemporary Asia. He is the author of more than 200 publications on politics, development and l a b o r issues in Thailand and on Southeast Asia.

Military, Monarcby and Repression Assessing Thailand's authoritarian turn

Edited by Veerayooth Kanchoochat and Kevin Hewison


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