A lecture by:
Charles F. Keyes, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and International Studies
Date: Monday, October 20, 2014
Time: 12:30 – 2:00 pm
Location: Thomson Hall, Room 317
A note from Professor Keyes:
On May 22, 2014, the Thai military led by General Prayuth Chan-Ocha successfully seized power of the government of Thailand. This was the 12th military coup in Thailand since 1932 when absolute monarchy was ended.
The new government headed by General Prayuth is attempting to turn back the Thai political clock to a time to before 1973 when, the new leaders believe, the country was united under the monarchy and everyone knew his place in the social order. At the same time, the new leaders are looking to China where a system of autocratic capitalism prevails as a model for the current Thai polity.
Because the latest coup in Thailand took place when much of the world’s attention has been focused on events in the turbulent Middle East and the conflict between Ukraine and Russia few have given attention to the implications of Thai coup. In this talk, I will review the recent political history of Thailand that led up to the coup and then reflect on how the coup makes Thailand a exemplar of what Michael Ignatieff has called the “new world disorder”. Finally, I will reflect on whether the Thai military’s vision of Thailand
can succeed or not.