Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-5nwft Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-12T22:38:31.340Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

4 - The Monarchized Military

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 June 2023

Get access

Summary

Unlike the late King Bhumibol, King Vajiralongkorn stays connected to the Thai armed forces through his own network, created after his succession to the throne in late 2016. Studies on the relationship between monarchy and military in Thailand, such as Duncan McCargo’s work on the “network monarchy” and Paul Chambers and Napisa Waitoolkiat’s article on the resilience of the “monarchized military” have suggested that the late king remained connected to the military through his network, at the centre of which was the late president of the Privy Council, General Prem Tinsulanonda. This network, which Chambers and Napisa regard as a “parallel state”, was “an asymmetrical nexus between a powerful monarch (King Bhumibol) and Privy Council and a military leadership”. As the chief adviser to the king, Prem used his relations with the monarchy as the source of the legitimacy needed for him to exercise influence over the military. He acted as a power broker who helped cement ties between the monarchy and the military during the last decades of the previous reign.

With such a relationship and the position of Privy Council president, Prem managed to secure a smooth royal transition during the critical period after King Bhumibol passed away in October 2016. The ageing Prem was appointed as regent pro tempore on 14 October 2016, a day after King Bhumibol’s passing, since the then crown prince—who was supposed to take the throne immediately after the death of his father, for the sake of continuity—said he wanted to take time to grieve with the nation before accepting the invitation to become Thailand’s new king. The crown prince realized that there could be some confusion or undesirable difficulties during such a critical period, and he therefore told the regent Prem and the junta chief and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha during an audience that the two should help prevent public confusion over the administration and over the process of succession to the throne.

The crown prince noted that people should have no confusion over the administration or the succession to the throne since the latter process was clearly stated in the constitution and the Palace Law, according to Prayut.

Type
Chapter
Information
A Soldier King
Monarchy and Military in the Thailand of Rama X
, pp. 110 - 155
Publisher: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
Print publication year: 2022

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×