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MEETINGS 2013-2014

367th meeting :  “A 'Third Hand': The Role of the Thai Military in Thai Politics Today”. 

Tuesday October 8th 2013

A  Talk by Dr. Paul Chambers (PhD, Northern Illinois University), Chiang Mai University.


Thailand’s military has long been a major political actor standing upon the political stage. Be it as junior partner to absolute kings, enjoying absolute power themselves, or currently, as the guarantors for security to the kingdom of Thailand, the armed forces remain a crucial opaque entity of enormous clout.
The  military  leadership  has,  since  2006  been  steadfastly  opposed  to  former  Prime  Minister  Thaksin Shinawatra. In 2011, the pro-Thaksin Puea Thai party won a landslide election. Then, from 2011 until 2013 an  uneasy  accommodation  settled  across  civil-military  relations  in  Thailand.   At  present,  in  2013,  as tensions  rise  between  Thailand’s  judiciary  on  one  side,  and  Puea  Thai  and  pro-Thaksin  Red  Shirt demonstrators on the other, the military finds itself at the center of a political storm. What is the likelihood of  military  intervention?  What  is  the  extent  today  of  civilian  control  over  the  military?  Will  Thailand’s armed forces continue to exert enormous power or will Thailand see any demilitarization? These and other related issues will be discussed at this presentation.

The Speaker: Chambers graduated with a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northern Illinois University, has lived in Thailand off and on since 1993, and has written extensively about security and democracy issues in Southeast  Asia.   He  was  senior  research  fellow  at  Heidelberg  University  in  Germany  (2008-2011);  and today is concurrently a research fellow at the Peace Research Institute in Frankfurt, research associate at the German Institute of Global Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg, and Director of Research and Lecturer at the Institute of Southeast Asian Affairs, Faculty of Political Science, Chiang Mai University, in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Want to read more? ....click "HERE" (PDF File for downloading or reading on line - 10 pages).



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