A Presentation by UW Professor Emeritus Charles Keyes
Thomson Hall, Room 317
Here is a short description from Professor Keyes:
In December 2014 and early January 2015 my wife, Jane, and I were in Thailand once again – perhaps concluding over a half-century of deep involvement with the country. That Thailand was once again under military rule as it had been when we first arrived in Thailand in August 1962 was distressing and saddening. The political history of Thailand from the late 1950s until today can be summarized as being from Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat, the military dictator from 1958 to 1963, to General Prayut Chan-ocha, the head of the military junta that seized power in May 2014. Both based their domination of the political order on the assumption that only military rule could ensure order and protect the institution of the monarchy. Thai society is not, however, the same in 2014-15 as it was in 1958-73 when Sarit and his chosen successors ruled the country. In this talk I reflect on why there has to date been a failure of democracy in Thailand and then examine the contemporary conditions that may finally make military dictatorship untenable, but perhaps also lead to more political turmoil in the kingdom of no longer smiling Thai.
Everyone is welcome to attend.