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  • Thailand’s Delayed Structural Transformation Guest Post: Jacob Ricks 08 February 2017 Observers have long noted the disparity in levels of economic well-being between Bangkok and the rest of Thailand (Pasuk and Baker 2016). Indeed, this inequality has been partly blamed for the enduring political turmoil plaguing the country since 2005 (Hewison 2014). In some of my current research, I argue that much of this inequality can be traced to conditions of a delayed structural transformation in Thailand. In this essay, I first describe this phenomenon before examining one of its contributing factors, seasonal migration. I further contend that social and economic upheavals resulting from structural transformation warrant much more attention than they have received.Structural transformation refers to the transition of economic activity ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2017, 3:02 PM by Joel Selway
  • Tribute to King Bhumibol Adulyadej I grew up as a half Thai in Britain. The daughter of a career diplomat, my mother had grown up in the control center of Thai nationalism--the bureaucracy, which ruled the country for decades in partnership with the military. But while I was aware of the King growing up, our house was not adorned with his picture or any kind of home-made shrine, unlike that of my extended family's homes in Thailand, whom I would get to know as an adult. The thousands of miles distance from Thailand and my mother's conversion to Christianity made the King a figure I was aware of, but for which I had no particular feelings. We did not speak Thai ...
    Posted Oct 14, 2016, 10:01 PM by Joel Selway
  • The Effects of Thailand’s Proposed Electoral System (by Allen Hicken and Bangkok Pundit) This post is co-authored and cross-posted with Bangkok Pundit. Introduction On 29 January, the second group of constitutional drafters appointed by Thailand’s NCPO released the draft of another new Constitution. Like its predecessor the current draft proposes to change the way Thailand elects its representatives. Recall that the electoral system Thailand used in 2011 was a mixed member majoritarian system (MMM) with 375 single-seat constituencies, and 125 party list seats, elected from a single national constituency using proportional representation. The previous constitutional draft (rejected by the National Reform Council last September) called for a switch to a German-style mixed member proportional system (MMP). The new draft proposes yet another type of mixed member system—what ...
    Posted Feb 9, 2016, 5:22 PM by Allen Hicken
  • Thailand's Containment Constitution (by Allen Hicken) The drafters of the new Thai constitution seem determined to go much farther than their predecessors were willing or able to in 2007 to try and replace “bad people” with “good people”, while putting a hedge around the power of elected politicians. The term that is often used is a system of better checks and balances. However, the meaning of that term is very different in Thailand than what it means in much of the rest of the world. Usually, checks and balances refers to elected representatives checking each other. For example, the opposition is given power to limit the power of government, or one elected branch of government checks the power of the other, or elected representatives grant independent ...
    Posted May 13, 2015, 12:00 AM by Allen Hicken
  • Partisan Patterns and Malapportionment in Thailand’s Party List (Part II) (by Allen Hicken & Bangkok Pundit) This post is co-authored and cross-posted with Bangkok Pundit.   We have been looking at the proposals for Thailand’s new 6-region party list. In part one we discussed the high degree of malapportionment in the distribution of seats across the 6 regions. In part two we showed that the primary motivation behind the malapportionment does not appear to be giving one of the two largest parties an advantage over the other. Again, a couple of caveats. Neither of us have any first-hand knowledge of the drafter’s and/or the EC’s motivations. We are merely inferring intent from the nature of the proposal—and it is certainly possible that we are wrong. It is also ...
    Posted Apr 6, 2015, 9:36 PM by Allen Hicken
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