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June 17, 2024

King Maha Vajiralongkorn's Controlling Style Belies a Weak Monarch

King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand has reverted from the quieter, behind-closed-doors style of his much-loved father and directly involved himself in Thai domestic politics and the economy. 

Thai king wears white military dress uniform while waving to the camera.

June 3, 2024

Thailand’s Draconian 112 Lèse-majesté Law: Any Hope for Change?

A repressive law limiting criticism of the Thai monarchy has placed the current king beyond reproach, but popular discontent with the legislation and the monarchy is growing. 

Thai King wears a white military dress uniform while carrying a sword and walking during a military procession.

May 31, 2024

Has the King of Thailand Split With Thaksin?

The king of Thailand had seemingly allied with Thailand’s most powerful civilian politician, Thaksin Shinawatra. Now, the alliance may be collapsing—again showing the vast, hidden power of the Thai m…

Former Thai prime minister stands at a gold altar with flowers and candles.

October 19, 2020

Southeast Asia
What Now for Thailand’s Protests?

Pavin Chachavalpongpun is associate professor at Kyoto University’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies.  The crackdown on Thai protesters at dawn on October 15 brought an abrupt end to overnight d…

People remove barricades blocking the road during an antigovernment protest, in Bangkok, Thailand on October 16, 2020.

May 28, 2019

Southeast Asia
Prem Tinsulanonda’s Legacy—and the Failures of Thai Politics Today

By Pavin Chachavalpongpun and Joshua Kurlantzick General Prem Tinsulanonda, the former army chief, long-time prime minister (1980–1988), and head of the palace’s Privy Council, passed away on May …

Prem Tinsulanonda_4.10.2019

September 7, 2023

Thailand: A Likely Deal is Completed, and the Establishment Wins

The Pheu Thai party's initial days in office reveal the compromises it has made to attain power.

Former Thai prime minister wears a navy suit and red tie while bowing his hands in front of his face.

August 22, 2023

Is There a Succession Crisis in the Thai Monarchy?

A son of the king of Thailand made an unexpected return to Bangkok earlier this month, invigorating speculation of a looming succession crisis.

Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse, Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn's son, waves his hand while wearing a light blue t-shirt and light blue linen suit jacket. A man in a black jacket stands in the background.