Duncan McCargo (ed)
Since 1932, Thai politics has undergone numerous political ‘reforms’, often accompanied by constitutional revisions and shifts in the location of power. Following the events of May 1992, there were strong pressures from certain groups in Thai society for a fundamental overhaul of the political order, culminating in the drafting and promulgation of a new constitution in 1997.
However, constitutional reform is only one small part of a wide range of possible reforms, including that of the electoral system, education, the bureaucracy, health and welfare, the media – and even the military. Indeed, the economic crisis which engulfed Thailand in 1997 led to a widespread questioning of the country’s social and political structures. With the sudden end of rapid economic growth, the urgency of reform and adaptation to Thailand’s changing circumstances became vastly more acute. It was against this background that the Thai parliament passed major changes to the electoral system in late 2000, just weeks before the January 2001 election.
Reflecting on the twists and turns of reform in Thailand over the years and with the first in-depth scholarly analysis of how successful were the recent electoral reforms, this volume is a ‘must have’ for everyone interested in Thai politics and its impact on the wider Asian political scene.