Reforming Thai Politics

edited by Duncan McCargo

Reforming Thai Politics cover

  • Published: 2002
  • Pages: 320 pp.
Available from NIAS Press worldwide except Asia-Pacific
ISBN Hardback: 978 87 87062 94 7, £45 (August 2002)
ISBN Paperback: 978 87 87062 93 0, £16.99 ()

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.

• First volume to appear in English, analysing in depth the implications of Thailand’s recent (January 2001) general election.
• Describes and analyses the full spectrum of Thai politics.

Since 1932, Thai politics has undergone numerous political ‘reforms’, often accompanied by constitutional revisions and shifts in the location of power. Following the events of May 1992, there were strong pressures from certain groups in Thai society for a fundamental overhaul of the political order, culminating in the drafting and promulgation of a new constitution in 1997.

However, constitutional reform is only one small part of a wide range of possible reforms, including that of the electoral system, education, the bureaucracy, health and welfare, the media – and even the military. Indeed, the economic crisis which engulfed Thailand in 1997 led to a widespread questioning of the country’s social and political structures. With the sudden end of rapid economic growth, the urgency of reform and adaptation to Thailand’s changing circumstances became vastly more acute. It was against this background that the Thai parliament passed major changes to the electoral system in late 2000, just 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.

Duncan McCargo is Director of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and Professor of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. A leading specialist on the politics of Thailand, his books include the best-selling Thaksinization of Thailand (co-authored), the award-winning Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand, and most recently Fighting for Virtue: Justice and Politics in Thailand.

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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.

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by Surin Maisrikrod
From journal:
Contemporary Southeast Asia, vol. 26, no. 1 (2004)

“…this is a timely book on the “new” Thai politics which certainly contributes a great deal to a better understanding of the political changes in Thailand…”

“…this is a timely book on the “new” Thai politics which certainly contributes a great deal to a better understanding of the political changes in Thailand…”

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