The much-revered monarchy has been at the centre of Thai political life for decades. Credit of its success must be given to King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest reigning monarch today. Since the military coup of 2006, however, the monarchy’s domination of political power has seriously been threatened. The coup that was meant to protect the interests of the royal prerogatives stirred up anti-monarchy sentiment among many supporters of the red-shirt movement. They became aware of the extent to which the monarchy had long been actively involved in politics, with the backing of the army, despite its confined role under the constitution. The speaker will examine the role of the Thai monarchy in the country’s protracted political conflicts to forecast its future after King Bhumibol passes from the scene. In defending its own political position, the monarchy, in collaboration with conservative royalists, has chosen to silence critics with the lèse-majesté law.

 
Bild på Pavin Chachavalpongpun
 
 

Pavin Chachavalpongpun is an associate professor at Kyoto University’s Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Japan. Receiving his PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, his latest book is “Reinventing Thailand: Thaksin and His Foreign Policy”.

 

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