The King Never Smiles

Author: Paul M. Handley

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300130591

Category: Religion

Page: 499

View: 869

Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej, the only king ever born in the United States, came to the throne of his country in 1946 and is now the world's longest-serving monarch. This book tells the unexpected story of his life and 60-year rule: how a Western-raised boy came to be seen by his people as a living Buddha; and how a king widely seen as beneficent and apolitical could in fact be so deeply political, autocratic, and even brutal. Paul Handley provides an extensively researched, factual account of the king's youth and personal development, ascent to the throne, skilful political maneuverings, and attempt to shape Thailand as a Buddhist kingdom. Blasting apart the widely accepted image of the king as egalitarian and virtuous, Handley convincingly portrays an anti-democratic monarch who, together with allies in big business and the corrupt Thai military, has protected a centuries-old, barely-modified feudal dynasty. When at nineteen Bhumibol assumed the throne after the still-unsolved shooting of his brother, the Thai monarchy had been stripped of power and prestige. Over the ensuing decades, Bhumibol became the paramount political actor in the kingdom, crushing critics while attaining high status among his people. The book details this process and depicts Thailand's unique constitutional monarch in the full light of the facts.

Southeast Asian Affairs 2007

Author: Daljit Singh,Lorraine Carlos Salazar

Publisher: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

ISBN: 9812304428

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 412

View: 2069

Contains contributions by experts that discuss the significant issues and events of 2007 in each of the Southeast Asian nations and the region as a whole.

Royal Capitalism

Author: Puangchon Unchanam

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 0299326004

Category: Capitalism

Page: 336

View: 9391

"Classical theorists once predicted that monarchy must eventually give way to capitalism. But is monarchy really dead--an archaic institution from the feudal past? In Royal Capitalism: The Monarchy, Wealth, and Social Classes in Thailand, Puangchon Unchanam examines one particularly successful monarchy: that of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej or Rama IX, whose seven-decade reign not only survived but thrived amid the country's transition to industrial capitalism. Indeed, the Thai crown's active role in national politics, the market economy, and popular culture has made it not only the dominant institution in the kingdom, but also the wealthiest monarchy in the world today. Tracing Rama IX's reign (1946-2016), Puangchon shows how the Thai crown was transformed into a 'bourgeois monarchy,' distinctive in several key ways. Rather than representing only royal and religious values, the monarchy rebranded itself by embracing the traditional middle-class ethic of hard work, frugality, and self-sufficiency. Rather than only relying upon coercion, the crown sought political legitimacy. And rather than simply controlling national assets, the crown became the country's major broker, connecting business elites, patronizing their industries, and partnering with giant corporations. Thanks to these distinctive features that it has recently embodied, the Thai monarchy enjoys hegemonic status in the capitalist state, preeminent status in the market, and popular support from the urban bourgeoisie"

Duthel Thailand Guide III

Author: Heinz Duthel

Publisher: BoD – Books on Demand

ISBN: 3734779804

Category: Travel

Page: 508

View: 3007

Duthel Thailand Guide III. Isan - 16th. Edition 2015 Isan Amnat Charoen Province The Bodyguard 2 Bueng Kan Province Buriram Province Chi River Chrieng Brunh Dynamite Warrior Economy of Isan History of Isan Hua Na Dam I-San Special Isan language Tony Jaa Kai yang Kalasin Province Kantrum Khao Yai National Park Khon Kaen Khon Kaen Province Khon Kaen Silk Festival Khorat Plateau Lam Phra Phloeng Dam Loei Province Maha Sarakham Province Mekong

The King and the Making of Modern Thailand

Author: Antonio L. Rappa

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1315411326

Category: History

Page: 302

View: 3693

The making of modern Thailand is grounded in specific political institutions, Brahmanical tropes, and sacred Buddhist traditions stylized with Hindu rituals. Over and above these mysterious practices and ancient customs, modern Thailand is a product of the late Great Rama IX Bhumibol Adulyadej. Most Thai people have only known one King. Born in Europe and educated during World War II, Bhumibol was the son of a Harvard medical doctor who had a penchant for jazz music and fast cars. When he returned to Thailand in 1951 to assume his royal duties, he could hardly speak Thai but his French and German were remarkable. Bhumibol had inherited an impoverished country with nothing but a symbolic role as a figurehead monarch. He was surrounded by envious courtiers and royals from other families now sidelined by the rise of the Chakri. Scheming generals and authoritarian field marshals were emptying the Kingdom’s coffers. Using guile and wit, Bhumibol had turned the tide by 1973. He became the most powerful modern warlord in the history of the Kingdom. He survived attempted murder, crafty politicians, corrupt generals, sycophantic courtiers and impoverished masses. When he died on October 13 2016, Bhumibol was already the longest standing monarch in the world. King Bhumibol was deeply respected and well-liked by farang and locals alike. Despite his massive social and economic achievements many problems continue to plague the Kingdom. These are prostitution, human rights issues, pollution, corruption, cronyism in Chinese businesses, border conflicts with Cambodia, and the refugee problem. This book examines the role of Rama IX and the variegated set of problems that persist in life under the great white elephant and mango trees. Rappa draws from his primary research that includes interviews, surveys and first-hand observations of a remarkable kingdom and a uniquely remarkable king to reveal the internal security threats to democracy and civil society in the oldest Southeast Asian kingdom in late modernity.

Thailand: Deadly Destination

Author: John Stapleton

Publisher: A Sense Of Place Publishing

ISBN: 099254873X

Category: Travel

Page: 208

View: 1587

The daily robbing, bashing, drugging, extortion and murder of foreign tourists on Thai soil, along with numerous scandals involving unsafe facilities and well established scams, has led to frequent predictions that Thailand's multi-billion dollar tourist industry will self-destruct. Instead tourist numbers more than doubled in the decade to 2014. The world might not have come to the hometowns of the many visitors fascinated by Thailand, but it certainly came to the Land of Smiles. While the Thai media is heavily censored, and bad news stories about tourists suppressed, nonetheless there is more than enough evidence to demonstrate that something has gone seriously awry with the nation's tourist industry. In 2014, just as in the years preceding it, there were train, bus, ferry, speedboat, motorbike and car accidents, murders, knifings, unexplained deaths, numerous suicides, diving accidents, robberies gone wrong, anonymous bodies washing up on the shores and a string of alcohol and drug related incidents. Thailand had a dying king and serious succession problems, weak democratic institutions, an economy slipping into recession, faced issues of corruption across many of its key services and was host to international crime syndicates, awash with despised foreigners and drifting perilously towards civil war. Tourists choose one destination over another for a number of reasons, most of which Thailand scores highly on. But on the core issue of tourist safety, Thailand scores very badly indeed.

Truth on Trial in Thailand

Author: David Streckfuss

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136942025

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 1657

Since 2005, Thailand has been in crisis, with unprecedented political instability and the worst political violence seen in the country in decades. In the aftermath of a military coup in 2006, Thailand’s press freedom ranking plunged, while arrests for lèse-majesté have skyrocketed to levels unknown in the modern world. Truth on Trial in Thailand traces the 110-year trajectory of defamation-based laws in Thailand. The most prominent of these is lèse-majesté, but defamation aspects also appear in laws on sedition and treason, the press and cinema, anti-communism, contempt of court, insulting of religion, as well as libel. This book makes the case that despite the appearance of growing democratization, authoritarian structures and urges still drive politics in Thailand; the long-term effects of defamation law adjudication has skewed the way that Thai society approaches and perceives "truth." Employing the work of Habermas, Foucault, Agamben, and Schmitt to construct an alternative framework to understand Thai history, Streckfuss contends that Thai history has become "suspended" since 1958, and repeatedly declining to face the truth of history has set the stage for an endless state of crisis. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of South East Asian politics, Asian history, and media and communication. David Streckfuss is an independent scholar who has lived in Thailand for more than 20 years. His work primarily concerns human rights, and political and cultural history.


Author: Arjun Subrahmanyan

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 1438486529

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 1208

Describes the profound social impact of the overthrow of the Thai absolute monarchy in 1932, and explains the importance of democracy in a country long known for authoritarian politics. Thailand's monarchy and military have dominated the narrative of the country's modern history, and their leadership is often accepted as evidence of a cultural preference for authoritarianism. Despite a long history of military coups that have upended the course of the country's democracy, however, Thailand's democratic history is a vital though largely ignored aspect of modern Thai society. Based on extensive archival research, Amnesia delves into the social and political beginnings of Thai democracy and explains how a bloodless revolution against the monarchy in 1932 introduced a constitutional democracy and ignited enduring hopes for a fairer society and a more representative government. The "People's Party," a small group of commoners who staged the revolution in the name of democracy, found an enthusiastic audience for their bold populist rhetoric among wide swathes of society. In Amnesia, Arjun Subrahmanyan illustrates how the idealism of the first decade of Thai democracy, now largely forgotten, still shapes Thai society. Arjun Subrahmanyan is Senior Lecturer in Southeast Asian History at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia.

Thailand’s Buddhist Kingship in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Author: Marie-Sybille de Vienne

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1000567621

Category: Social Science

Page: 286

View: 2781

Based on two decades of fieldwork, including over a hundred interviews with various political and economic actors at different social levels, as well as documentary and media analysis, this volume presents an account of the Buddhist monarchy in Thailand, offering a sociology of elites, an analysis of the economic influence of the Crown and an examination of the magic and ritual dimension of kingship. An exploration of the role and status of the Palace over the last century, whether as a guarantor of democracy, a symbol of stability, a source of power or an object of popular discontent, Thailand’s Buddhist Kingship in the 20th and 21st Centuries will appeal to scholars of sociology and anthropology with interests in material religion, politics and Southeast Asian studies.

Constitutional Bricolage

Author: Eugénie Mérieau

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1509927719

Category: Law

Page: 352

View: 4316

This book analyses the unique constitutional system in operation in Thailand as a continuous process of bricolage between various Western constitutional models and Buddhist doctrines of Kingship. Reflecting on the category of 'constitutional monarchy' and its relationship with notions of the rule of law, it investigates the hybridised semi-authoritarian, semi-liberal monarchy that exists in Thailand. By studying constitutional texts and political practices in light of local legal doctrine, the book shows that the monarch's affirmation of extraordinary prerogative powers strongly rests on wider doctrinal claims about constitutionalism and the rule of law. This finding challenges commonly accepted assertions about Thailand, arguing that the King's political role is not the remnant of the 'unfinished' borrowing of Western constitutionalism, general disregard for the law, or cultural preference for 'charismatic authority', as generally thought. Drawing on materials and sources not previously available in English, this important work provides a comprehensive and critical account of the Thai 'mixed constitutional monarchy' from the late 19th century to the present day.