Duncan McCargo


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Duncan McCargo is best known for his agenda-setting contributions to current debates on the politics of Thailand.  Fluent in Thai and fascinated by Asia, he has spent several years in Thailand.  McCargo has also lived in Singapore, taught in Belfast, Cambodia and Japan, and published on Indonesia and Vietnam.  He is committed to doing serious fieldwork, and&nb

Duncan McCargo is best known for his agenda-setting contributions to current debates on the politics of Thailand.  Fluent in Thai and fascinated by Asia, he has spent several years in Thailand.  McCargo has also lived in Singapore, taught in Belfast, Cambodia and Japan, and published on Indonesia and Vietnam.  He is committed to doing serious fieldwork, and Time magazine wrote of his work ‘No armchairs for this author… McCargo is the real McCoy.’

McCargo’s main research interests lie in the politics of contemporary Thailand, including issues such as Buddhism, constitutionalism, political reform, the career of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, the media, the monarchy, the role of the military, the Southern conflict, judicialization and the politics of justice.  He also focuses on comparative politics in the Asia-Pacific region, including electoral politics, civil society, political transitions, and politics and media.

Duncan McCargo holds a visiting affiliation at Columbia’s University’s Weatherhead Institute, and is an Associate Fellow of the Asia Society. In December 2010, McCargo was awarded an honorary doctorate in Tai Studies by Mahasarakham University.

Books by this author

Mapping National Anxieties

Thailand’s Southern Conflict

Based on first-hand research inside the conflict zone, award-winning researcher Duncan McCargo uncovers previously hidden dimensions of this important regional insurgency, including the role of both Buddhism and Islam, and examines the debates around reconciliation, citizenship and identity, and the prospects for some form of autonomy for the Thai South.

The Thaksinization of Thailand

This book examines Thaksin’s background, his business activities, the emergence of Thai Rak Thai, his relationship with the military, Thaksin’s use of rhetoric through media such as radio, his wider political economy networks, and the future direction of Thai politics. This detailed but gripping study draws on extensive research by two leading specialists in the field.

Reforming Thai Politics

With the sudden end of rapid economic growth, the urgency of political reform in Thailand became acute. The Thai parliament passed major changes to the electoral system in late 2000, weeks before the January 2001 election. Reflecting on the twists and turns of reform in Thailand over the years and with the first in-depth scholarly analysis of how successful were the recent electoral reforms, this volume is a ‘must have’ for everyone interested in Thai politics and its impact on the wider Asian political scene.

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