By Andrew MacGregor Marshall
“An explosive research that lays naked what the Thai elite have attempted to maintain hidden for many years. A clear-eyed view of what's rather at stake in Thailand’s carrying on with turmoil.”—David Streckfuss, writer of Truth on Trial in Thailand: Defamation, Treason, and Lèse-Majesté
“A well timed and hugely readable account of the bleak political fact of the Land of Smiles. a vital primer for each visitor.” —Joe Studwell, writer of How Asia Works
Read or Download A Kingdom in Crisis: Royal Succession and the Struggle for Democracy in 21st Century Thailand PDF
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Extra resources for A Kingdom in Crisis: Royal Succession and the Struggle for Democracy in 21st Century Thailand
But the modern ideology of Thai royalism that underpins the political and social structure of the state is not some quaint cultural holdover from the distant past. In the twentieth century, as monarchy after monarchy toppled around the world and a bloodless revolution in Siam stripped the king of absolute power, the palace and its supporters set out to revive and reinvent royalism to safeguard their continued relevance and power. As Benedict Anderson has observed, ‘“Royalism” in the sense of an active quest for real power in the political system by the royal family … persists in a curiously antique form in contemporary Siam’ (Anderson, 1978).
Another woman wrote on the road with chalk that she still remembered the time when her friend was killed four months ago. Sombat said [the] symbolic activity at Rajprasong had succeeded in getting the government’s attention. He said he did not expect that over 10,000 would join the rally. ‘We just came here to tell the government that we will never forget’, he said. (Pravit, 2010) Towards the end of the protest, it became clear that everything had changed for Thailand’s monarchy. A slogan began to be shouted among one group of protesters and spread through the crowd until hundreds were chanting it over and over again.
Ministerial positions are routinely held by mafia ‘godfathers’ or their wives, children and business cronies – usually incompetent at fulfilling their official duties but exceptionally adept at embezzlement and graft. Politicians, police, military officers, tycoons and criminals have colluded in looting the country with impunity. Organized crime networks have become intimately linked with, and often indistinguishable from, the Thai state. In the decades since World War II, Thai society has suffered corrosive upheaval and dislocation due to rapid urbanization, the cancerous growth of heroin and methamphetamine abuse, and the unrestrained expansion of the sex sector.
A Kingdom in Crisis: Royal Succession and the Struggle for Democracy in 21st Century Thailand by Andrew MacGregor Marshall