CFR Presents

Asia Unbound

CFR experts give their take on the cutting-edge issues emerging in Asia today.

Print Print Email Email Share Share Cite Cite
Style: MLA APA Chicago Close

loading...

The Demolition of Democracy in Thailand

by Joshua Kurlantzick
May 22, 2012

Red shirt protesters hold a picture of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra at a gathering to mark the second anniversary of a government crackdown on red shirt protestors in Bangkok May 19, 2012. Red shirt protesters hold a picture of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra at a gathering to mark the second anniversary of a government crackdown on red shirt protestors in Bangkok May 19, 2012 (Sukree Sukplang/Courtesy Reuters).

With the ousting of the military regime in 1992, Thailand emerged as a regional beacon of democracy. The international monitoring organization Freedom House even ranked Thailand a “free” country in its 1999 report—one of only a few Asian countries to receive this designation. Over the past six years, however, democracy has retreated rapidly in Thailand. Today, the imminent return of Thaksin, the current government’s oppressive wielding of the draconian lèse-majesté law, and the deteriorating health of the beloved King, all suggest that this fragile “democracy” may be on the precipice of yet another crisis.

In my new piece for Foreign Policy, I explore the numerous factors that have led to the decline of democracy in Thailand. You can read the piece in its entirety here.

Post a Comment No Comments

Post a Comment

CFR seeks to foster civil and informed discussion of foreign policy issues. Opinions expressed on CFR blogs are solely those of the author or commenter, not of CFR, which takes no institutional positions. All comments must abide by CFR's guidelines and will be moderated prior to posting.

* Required

Pingbacks