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This chapter describes the drafting of the 1997 Constitution and its impact on Thai democracy. It first provides some context of Thai political history. Next, it explains the forces which converged to produce the 1997 constitution-making process, the first to ever involve an elected drafting assembly. While the life of the constitution was tumultuous, culminating in its death at the age of nine in 2006, it has had a profound afterlife with significant effects on Thai democracy, and institutional legacies that have survived even in the authoritarian periods of 2006-2007 and 2014-2016. It thus shows how a democratic constitution-making process can have important institutional effects beyond its formal legal operation. At the same time, the transition to a new monarch in 2016 marks a major shift in the trajectory of the country, with negative implications for its democratic future.
To report 5- and 10-year overall survival (OS) outcomes of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and identify prognostic factors.
Data on 2,095 patients at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, Thailand between 2007 and 2014 were analysed using the Kaplan–Meyer method to estimate 5- and 10-year OS rates. Cox proportional hazard regression models were applied to assess the independent prognostic factors of survival.
8·7% had hypopharyngeal cancer, 19·7% laryngeal, 53·3% oral cavity and 18·3% oropharyngeal. Two-thirds of the patients had locally advanced stage (III–IVB). Five- and ten-year OS rates were 30·1 and 22·8%, respectively.
Cancer site, stage and age at diagnosis were associated with mortality, highlighting the importance of prevention and early detection.
The Khao Wong Prachan Valley of central Thailand is one of four known prehistoric loci of copper mining, smelting and casting in Southeast Asia. Many radiocarbon determinations from bronze-consumption sites in north-east Thailand date the earliest copper-base metallurgy there in the late second millennium BC. By applying kernel density estimation analysis to approximately 100 new AMS radiocarbon dates, the authors conclude that the valley's first Neolithic millet farmers had settled there by c. 2000 BC, and initial copper mining and rudimentary smelting began in the late second millennium BC. This overlaps with the established dates for Southeast Asian metal-consumption sites, and provides an important new insight into the development of metallurgy in central Thailand and beyond.
In prehistoric coastal and western-central Thailand, rice was the dominant cultivar. In eastern-central Thailand, however, the first known farmers cultivated millet. Using one of the largest collections of archaeobotanical material in Southeast Asia, this article examines how cropping systems were adapted as domesticates were introduced into eastern-central Thailand. The authors argue that millet reached the region first, to be progressively replaced by rice, possibly due to climatic pressures. But despite the increasing importance of rice, dryland, rain-fed cultivation persisted throughout ancient central Thailand, a result that contributes to refining understanding of the development of farming in Southeast Asia.
What is the relationship between well-developed stateness and democracy that continuously collapses or fails to consolidate? This chapter examines this question by scrutinizing the case of Thailand. It argues that a historically entrenched alliance of authoritarian actors, having long guided state-building efforts, guaranteed a high level of state capacity across the country. After 1980, these authoritarian actors asserted themselves behind the guise of a monarch-led ‘parallel state’, which dominated Thailand indirectly and was unwilling to surrender power to democratic actors. When these authoritarian actors felt that their interests were becoming threatened by elected governments, they plotted their overthrow, resulting in a vicious cycle of coups, which prevented high-quality democracy from ever developing. Following democratization in 1992, state capacity remained relatively high compared to other ‘new democracies’ in Southeast Asia. Such a high level of state capacity amidst continuing distrust of elected governments by the monarch-led ‘parallel state’ resulted in the collapse of democracy in 2006 and again in 2014. The case of Thailand shows us that a principal challenge to young democracies is how authoritarian predecessors, with enormous sway over stateness and state capacity, can continue exerting influence ‘from above’, hindering elected governments’ effective power to govern.
Islam travelled across the Asian expanse along land and maritime routes, as Muslims engaged in trade, proselytism, and conquest. While the territory and influence of Islamic political authority expanded, collapsed, and reached further once again, between the seventh and sixteenth centuries the realities and attributes of any given Islamic society varied greatly. This chapter provides a bird's-eye view of the expansive movement of Muslims out of Arabia and into Asia, as Islam crossed the Oxus/Amu Darya river (Uzbekistan), following two main paths. First was the military expansion of the Arab Muslim Empire, which reached its territorial apogee under the Abbasid, spreading as far as Transoxiana and Northwest India. Second was the movement of pilgrims, scholars, soldiers, and mystics – whose identities melted one into the other – across continental and maritime Asia, along the centuries-old Silk Road and the Indian Ocean networks. These trajectories allow us to see Asia as a historically cohesive space of Islamized interaction, where Muslims imagined themselves as part of a religious community, the umma.
Gastrointestinal helminth infection likely affects the gut microbiome, in turn affecting host health. To investigate the effect of intestinal parasite status on the gut microbiome, parasitic infection surveys were conducted in communities in Nan Province, Thailand. In total, 1047 participants submitted stool samples for intestinal parasite examination, and 391 parasite-positive cases were identified, equating to an infection prevalence of 37.3%. Intestinal protozoan species were less prevalent (4.6%) than helminth species. The most prevalent parasite was the minute intestinal fluke Haplorchis taichui (35.9%). Amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA was conducted to investigate the gut microbiome profiles of H. taichui-infected participants compared with those of parasite-free participants. Prevotella copri was the dominant bacterial operational taxonomic unit (OTU) in the study population. The relative abundance of three bacterial taxa, Ruminococcus, Roseburia faecis and Veillonella parvula, was significantly increased in the H. taichui-infected group. Parasite-negative group had higher bacterial diversity (α diversity) than the H. taichui-positive group. In addition, a significant difference in bacterial community composition (β diversity) was found between the two groups. The results suggest that H. taichui infection impacts the gut microbiome profile by reducing bacterial diversity and altering bacterial community structure in the gastrointestinal tract.
This article bridges the traditionally segregated fields of Native American history and the history of American foreign relations by investigating a series of activities in the late 1960s and early 1970s that interconnected Native American development and American counterinsurgency agendas in the unstable political landscapes of Southeast Asia. A small coterie of American bureaucrats, with careers spanning foreign assistance and Native American development work, saw great potential in selectively showcasing Indian economic “success stories” to serve “hilltribe” development and counterinsurgency programs in Laos and Thailand sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Central Intelligence Agency. One result was a series of “intertribal” development tours arranged for Laotian and Thai representatives in multiple Native American communities in Arizona and New Mexico. Moreover, sharing a sense that Native Americans could offer unique advantages as direct development agents among other “tribes” overseas, the tours’ organizers garnered support from a diverse range of actors—CIA and USAID officials, Laotian and Thai military officers, and Indian political and business leaders—for launching a “tribe-to-tribe” foreign assistance program. Viewed together, these transnational schemes and discussions reveal how the flexible and multivalent meanings of key development concepts at the time—such as Indian achievement, tribal initiative, and “intertribal” understanding—both facilitated and constrained official designs to employ Native American models to support political and military agendas in the “shadow” theaters of the escalating Vietnam conflict.
What explains the passage of Thailand's landmark universal healthcare (UHC) policy? In separate contributions, Selway and Harris emphasized the role of electoral rules and political parties, on one hand, and “professional movements” of developmentally minded state bureaucrats on the other. Which is correct? In this article, Selway and Harris respond to each other's work. While Selway agrees that the actions of the professional movement constitute an underappreciated necessary condition for universal healthcare in Thailand, he argues that Harris overstates the role of the movement in implementation. Harris defends his position and maintains that an institution-focused account is insufficient, arguing that the actions of Thailand's Rural Doctors’ Movement not only explain universal healthcare but also gave rise to the very electoral rule changes that Selway argues were so critical to facilitating universal coverage. Selway responds to these criticisms, and the two researchers jointly consider implications for causation, qualitative research, and policymaking theory.
Chapter 8 studies the record of macroeconomic and financial crises, high inflation episodes, currency collapses, political crises, and collapses of democracy in Latin America and the financial crises and recession episodes in East Asian economies in the period 1970–2015. The chapter focuses on countries – such as Argentina and Venezuela – with high incidence of growth, inflation, and political crises, and also examines the cases of Chile and Mexico. The chapter examines the effects of the East Asian crisis of 1997–98 on Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia (the Asia-5 countries) and compares its impact on China, Vietnam, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The chapter offers a discussion on a wide variety of crisis and stabilization occurrences in a comparative perspective, highlighting economic and political economy factors.
This chapter builds on the institutional voids literature within institutional theory by highlighting the role that multinational corporations can play when policy voids are severe, as is the case in many developing countries. We utilize an in-depth narrative case study of Nestlé’s operations in Thailand to elucidate the institutional and policy voids and then to show how Nestlé worked to fill these voids. Specifically, this chapter documents the history of slavery and child labor in Thailand and how international and domestic policy efforts have failed to address these issues in a political environment that is rife with corruption and abuse. Instead, corporations like Nestlé are filling this policy void with efforts like the Seafood Task Force, which aims to alleviate human rights abuses by eliminating them at the source.
Because of variation in the discursive foundations of regionalism and in the degree and nature of norm contestation and erosion, Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia arrived at the end of the Cold War with different normative priors. These normative priors interacted with other key variables during the second wave of regionalism, one of which is regime type. Democratization in Latin America during the 1980s was extensive, and, by the end of this decade, the region boasted a high “density” of democracy. The achievement of this critical mass of democracies contributed to the renewal of the development of intrusive regionalism (especially aimed at democracy promotion) in the region. Neither Africa nor Southeast Asia has achieved this density. Although average democracy scores in these other regions have been on the rise in the last twenty years, they remain in the “anocracy” range. Even though high democratic density was not achieved in these two regions, though, individual states democratized, and emerging democracies with regional leadership aspirations, like South Africa and Indonesia, have been at the forefront of regional reform campaigns.
Few studies on the legacies of the Chinese Civil War have examined its effects on state consolidation in the borderland area between China and mainland South-East Asia. This paper empirically examines the impact of the intrusion of the defeated Kuomingtang (KMT) into the borderland area between China, Burma and Thailand. In the People's Republic of China (PRC), the presence of the US-supported KMT across its Yunnan border increased the new communist government's threat perceptions. In response, Beijing used a carrot-and-stick approach towards consolidating its control by co-opting local elites while ruthlessly eliminating any opposition deemed to be in collusion with the KMT. In the case of Burma, the KMT presence posed a significant challenge to Burmese national territorial integrity and effectively led to the fragmentation of the Burmese Shan State. Finally, in Thailand, Bangkok collaborated with the Americans in support of the KMT to solidify its alliance relations. Later, Thailand used the KMT as a buffer force for its own border defence purposes against a perceived communist infiltration from the north. This paper contextualizes the spill-over effects of the Chinese Civil War in terms of the literature on how external threats can potentially facilitate state consolidation.
This article investigates the role of colonial pressure on state centralization and its relationship to subsequent development by analyzing the influence of Western colonial threats on Siam’s internal political reform. Unlike other countries in the region, Siam remained independent by adopting geographical administrative boundaries and incorporating its traditional governance structures into a new, centralized governance system. The authors find that the order in which areas were integrated into the centralized system depended on the interaction between precentralization political structures and proximity to British and French territorial claims. The authors show that areas centralized early in the process had higher levels of infrastructure investment and public goods provision at the time the centralization process was completed in 1915 than those centralized later in the process. They also show that early centralization during the Western colonial era continued to be strongly associated with higher levels of public goods provision and economic development, and that this relationship persists today.
The current paper tackles a critical question in climate change literature of whether farmers will be able to fully adapt to monsoonal climate changes owing to technological developments. Making use of the climate, agricultural and social data of Thailand from 1900 to 2015, this paper estimates a technological change instrumental variable by the growth of the normalized rice yield per hectare of land. The estimation shows that 0.98 of the growth in rice yield can be attributed to technological changes while the rest is accounted for by climate, soils and social factors. In the second stage regressions with the technological change indicator, the paper estimates the normalized numbers of the six most important types of live animals in Thailand: goats, chickens, cattle, sheep, pigs and buffaloes. Over the time period studied, the number of each of these live animals has increased vastly, except for buffaloes. The second-stage regressions show that the growth is largely attributable to technological changes, but monsoonal climate variables such as normalized monsoon precipitation ratio and normalized monsoon temperature are not significant factors. The results indicate that the rate of technological changes is overwhelming the rate of climate change on agriculture in Thailand.
The invisibility of migrants has been widely analysed in relation to states’ policies and practices. I argue in this article that emphasising the role of states and institutions in marginalising vulnerable populations by rendering them invisible throws a shadow over the multifaceted ways in which migrants interpret and relate to invisibility. Among Myanmar migrants in Thailand, as we shall see here, the notion that invisibility provides a protective shield to migrant bodies is in fact widespread. While invisibility is at times perceived as a threat to the future of these people, conceiving of invisibility solely as a tool of domination precludes us from fully understanding the complexity of Myanmar migrants’ experiences in Thailand and, more specifically, the many forms of empowerment that shape these experiences. Privileging the discourses and practices of Myanmar migrants in Thailand about their sartorial choices reveals that migrants appreciate invisibility for its capacity to create control over their own bodies. Further, it reveals the complexities of negotiating and expressing diasporic sartorial conventions.
The conflict between the Thai state and the Malay-Muslim insurgency in the country's Deep South is one of Southeast Asia's most persistent internal security challenges. The start of the current period of violence dates back to the early 2000s, and since then, a significant number of studies exploring the renewed escalation have been published. In this study, we argue that existing scholarship has not adequately accounted for the external environment in which political decisions were taken on how to deal with the southern insurgency. We seek to show how the internationally dominant, hegemonic security agenda of so-called non-traditional security (NTS) influenced the Thai government's approach to the conflict. Building upon the Copenhagen School's securitisation theory, we show how the insurgency became securitised under the dominant NTS narrative, leading to the adoption of harsh measures and alienating discourses that triggered the escalation of violence that continues today. The specific NTS frameworks that ‘distorted’ the Thai state's approach of one that had been informed solely by local facts and conditions were those of anti-narcotics and Islamist terrorism, albeit in different ways. Based on the findings from the case study, the article concludes with a reflection on the role of the hegemonic NTS agenda and its implications for Southeast Asian politics and scholarship.
This study probes the relationship between legal precarity and transborder citizenship through the case of the Karen from Myanmar in Thailand. Collected through ethnographic multi-sited fieldwork between 2012 and 2016, interconnected individual life stories evolving across the Myanmar-Thailand border allow the critical interrogation of the political and legal categories of ‘migrancy’, ‘refugeeness’, and ‘citizenship’, teasing out their blurry boundaries in migrants’ experience. Following the recent critical research in legal ethnography, this study demonstrates that legal precarity is not simply an antithesis to citizenship. The social and legal dimensions of citizenship may diverge, creating in-between areas of not-yet-full-citizenship with varying levels of heft (Macklin 2007). The article consists of three parts. First, it offers a theoretical framework to reconcile the Karen legal precarity (even de facto statelessness) and citizenship, even on both sides of the border (legally impossible). Second, it presents the three groups of Karen in Thailand, produced by the interaction of three major waves of Karen eastward migration and tightening Thai citizenship and migration regulations: Thai Karen, refugees, and migrant workers. All three face varying levels of legal precarity of temporary status without full citizenship. However, the last part demonstrates the intertwined nature of those groups. A grassroots transborder perspective reveals the resilience of the Karen networks when pooling together resources of the hubs established on Thai soil by the three waves. Even the most recent arrivals in Thailand use those resources to move from one precarious legal status to another and even to clandestinely obtain citizenship.
A new xinjiangchelyid turtle, Kalasinemys prasarttongosothi n. gen. n. sp., is described on the basis of skull and shell material from the Upper Jurassic Phu Kradung Formation at Phu Noi locality, Kalasin Province, in NE Thailand. This second xinjiangchelyid turtle from Phu Noi is distinct from Phunoichelys thirakhupti by the smooth shell surface, the presence of a cervical notch, and vertebral 1 narrower than nuchal. The skull presents an arterial system characteristic of the Xinjiangchelyidae (basal Eucryptodira), and its outline is similar to that of Annemys spp. known from the Middle–Late Jurassic of China and Mongolia, but distinct from the latter mainly by the wider triturating surface, smaller foramen palatinum posterius and the shape of the prefrontal and frontal, as well as that of the basisphenoid and basioccipital. Based on the turtle assemblages, the correlation with mainland Asia further supports a Late Jurassic age for the lower part of the Phu Kradung Formation where Phu Noi site is located stratigraphically. Our study provides new insight on the evolution of the basal eucryptodiran turtles in Asia.
Ten new species of Trypetheliaceae are described: Astrothelium bullatothallinum from Venezuela, which is close to A. aeneum but differs by the bullate thallus with a thick cortex, intermixed in a mosaic with the prothallus; A. cayennense from French Guiana, which is similar to A. flavomegaspermum but with a yellow pigment in the pseudostroma near the ostioles; A. diaphanocorticatum from Papua New Guinea, which has a bullate thallus with a thick hyaline cortex and 3-septate ascospores of 25–28×10–12 μm; A. macroeustomum from French Guiana, with joint lateral ostioles, UV+ yellow ostiolar region and 5-septate ascospores of 50–55×12–17 μm; A. minicecidiogenum from Costa Rica, with muriform ascospores of 70–90×20–25 μm, without pseudostromata, with solitary ascomata, lateral ostioles and an inspersed hamathecium; A. palaeoexostemmatis from Thailand, which is similar to A. exostemmatis but with larger, I+ blue ascospores; A. quasimamillanum from Brazil, with muriform ascospores of 30–33×9·5–10·5 μm, without pseudostromata, with solitary ascomata, lateral ostioles and an inspersed hamathecium; A. studerae from Brazil, with astrothelioid ascomata, lichexanthone only in the pseudostromata, 3-septate ascospores of 21·5–23·0×6·5–7·5 μm; A. tanianum from Malaysia, with a bullate thallus, solitary ascomata, covered by the thallus, (9–)11(–15)-septate ascospores, 75–100×20–22 μm; and Pseudopyrenula miniflavida from Brazil, with a yellow-inspersed hamathecium, the inspersion dissolving in KOH without colour change, and 3-septate ascospores, 15–17×5·5–6·5 μm. The unusually thick, hyaline cortical layer of the thallus of Astrothelium diaphanocorticatum, through which the individual algal cells are clearly visible, is discussed. Furthermore, 30 species are reported from 34 countries in which they had previously been unrecorded; one (Astrothelium inspersaeneum) is from a new continent, Asia.