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New Books in Southeast Asian Research: Supalak Ganjanakhundee on “A Soldier King”


What’s the relationship between the navy and the monarchy in Thailand? How has that relationship modified since King Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) assumed the throne in 2016? Why have latest navy coups in Thailand been staged partly with the intention to defend the throne? And the way far can earlier interpretations of Thai politics be tailored to clarify the rising affect of the monarchy in recent times?

Supalak Ganjanakhundee discusses his new fascinating e-book A Soldier King: Monarchy and Army within the Thailand of Rama X (ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, 2022) with Duncan McCargo, director of the Nordic Institute of Asian Research, College of Copenhagen. Supalak is a former editor of The Nation newspaper, and a visiting fellow on the Pridi Banomyong Institute, Thammasat College, Thailand.

“The e-book is a major contribution to understanding the necessary but shifting patterns of relationship between the monarchy and navy in Thailand. It’s broadly identified that the monarchy-military union has performed essential roles in politics all through fashionable Thai historical past. This e-book: A Soldier King: Monarchy and Army within the Thailand of Rama X affords a complete account and sound evaluation in regards to the newly fashioned monarchy-military community, demonstrating clearly how the brand new king tightens his grip since late 2016 in addition to his totally different type from his late father King Bhumibol.”

— Charnvit Kasetsiri, Thammasat College, Bangkok

Loved this episode? You may also get pleasure from our podcast with Puangthong Pawakapan, on her e-book Infiltrating Society: The Thai Army’s Inner Safety Affairs https://newbooksnetwork.com/infiltrating-society

Duncan McCargo is an eclectic, internationalist political scientist, and literature buff: his day job is directing the Nordic Institute of Asian Research, on the College of Copenhagen.

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