Saying the Unsayable

Monarchy and Democracy in Thailand

Edited by Søren Ivarsson and Lotte Isager

304 pp., Illustrated
NIAS Studies in Asian Topics # 47
Available from NIAS Press worldwide

Hardback - 2010, Available
ISBN 978-87-7694-071-3, £50
Paperback - 2010, Available
ISBN 978-87-7694-072-0, £16.99

  • A unique, multidisciplinary discussion of the cultural, historical, political, religious and legal forces that formed the Thai monarchy.
  • Essential reading for anyone interested in Thai politics and culture.
  • Of interest to a broad readership, also outside academia.


The Thai monarchy today is usually presented as both guardian of tradition and the institution to bring modernity and progress to the Thai people. It is moreover seen as protector of the nation. Scrutinizing that image, this volume reviews the fascinating history of the modern monarchy. It also analyses important cultural, historical, political, religious, and legal forces shaping the popular image of the monarchy and, in particular, of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

In this manner, the book offers valuable insights into the relationships between monarchy, religion and democracy in Thailand – topics that, after the September 2006 coup d’état, gained renewed national and international interest. By addressing such contentious issues as Thai-style democracy, lése majesté legislation, religious symbolism and politics, monarchical traditions, and the royal sufficiency economy, this volume will be of interest to a broad spectrum of academics, journalists and other interested readers outside academia.

Press news

  • Aug. 9 2019
    Carol Ann Boshier's book 'Mapping Cultural Nationalism: The Scholars of the Burma Research Society,1910-1935' has been shortlisted for the EuroSEAS Humanities Book Prize 2019. Congratulations!

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