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Participants in a Buddhist merit-making ceremony in Bangkok display a portrait of King Maha Vajiralongkorn

Thailand searches for a new balance between monarchy and modernity

  • Thailand’s dysfunctional politics is holding back its potential
  • The monarchy-military alliance has resisted democratic reforms
  • The system worked well during the Cold War but is ill-suited for the 21st century
  • Thailand’s prosperity depends on finding a new way for the monarchy and democracy to coexist

For all its immense potential, Thailand frustrates as much as it beckons. The country of 70 million has an almost half-trillion-dollar economy at the heart of mainland Southeast Asia. Having earlier eluded colonialism and communism, Thailand became a founder and birthplace of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a market of 650 million people, with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) approaching $3 trillion. In geopolitical terms, Thailand benefits from close historical ties with China harking back to the ancient tributary system, but without a shared border that could cause friction.

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Dr. Thitinan Pongsudhirak
Thais are willing to give their new king a chance because the monarchy is so integral to their collective identity
read more about it in the report
What's inside
  • Thailand’s dysfunctional politics is holding back its potential
  • The monarchy-military alliance has resisted democratic reforms
  • The system worked well during the Cold War but is ill-suited for the 21st century
  • Thailand’s prosperity depends on finding a new way for the monarchy and democracy to coexist
Who will benefit?
  • Report is targeted to the decision makers in cross country manufacturing – suppliers, manufacturers, logistics.
  • Also considered useful for the administrative university facilities, to better understand the possibe effects of current decisions.
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