SOAS University of London

Centre of South East Asian Studies

The Implication of the Thai Military’s Enforcement of Thai-style Democracy on Thai Society and Politics since the 2014 military coup d’état

Thai Military Style Democracy
Dr Titipol Phakdeewanich (Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand)

Date: 3 December 2018Time: 5:15 PM

Finishes: 3 December 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: 21/22 Russell Square Room: T102

Type of Event: Seminar


After the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) staged a military coup d’état on the 22nd of May 2014, the NCPO has claimed that reforming Thailand and restoring democracy are its main priorities. Nevertheless, the NCPO and Thai establishment continue to alienate and undermine the principle of ‘liberal democracy’, arguing that this is a foreign and Western concept that cannot fit well with Thailand.

As such, the NCPO has argued that Thailand has to search for its own form of democracy, one enshrined by Thai cultural heritage, known as Thai-style democracy. However, the notion of Thai-style democracy remains largely ambiguous, and is often perceived as a mechanism used by the military and establishment to undermine the liberties and freedoms of the country’s citizens.

A question arises to what extent the notion of Thai-style democracy has become an obstacle to democratisation, and the promotion and protection of human rights in Thailand. In addition, this seminar will also discuss how the Thai societal structure and cultural heritage both are the contributing factors and beneficiary to the enforcement of Thai-style democracy.

Titipol Phakdeewanich

Speaker Biography

Dr Titipol Phakdeewanich is a political scientist, at the Faculty of Political Science at Ubon Ratchathani University. It has been a key component of the work of Titipol, to highlight the promotion and protection of human rights, the plight and injustice in the lives of the rural poor, and to look towards finding actual solutions to these problems, which can have a tangible positive effect on the lives of under-represented and disenfranchised groups such as these, as well as other marginalised groups within Thailand.

Although, since the 2014 military coup d’état led by the National Council for Peace and Order or NCPO, Titipol has been closely monitored by the NCPO, because of his work on democracy and human rights, but he remains committed to work to support the promotion of democracy and human rights within Thailand.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of South East Asian Studies

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