The Political Development of Modern Thailand by Ferrara, Federico
Cambridge University Press, 26 March 2015
Hardcover, 346 PAGES
Based on extensive, empirical research, The Political Development of Modern Thailand analyses the country's political history from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Long known for political instability, Thailand was thrust into a deep state of crisis by a royalist military coup staged in 2006. Since then, conservative royalists have overthrown more elected governments after violent street protests, while equally disruptive demonstrations staged by supporters of electoral democracy were crushed by military force. Federico Ferrara traces the roots of the crisis to unresolved struggles regarding the content of Thailand's national identity, dating back to the abolition of absolute monarchy in 1932. He explains the conflict's re-intensification with reference to a growing chasm between the hierarchical worldview of Thailand's hegemonic 'royal nationalism' and the aspirations that millions of ordinary people have come to harbour as a result of modernisation.
'The Political Development of Modern Thailand is a brilliant accomplishment. Its depth and erudition, its historical perspective and interpretive vigor, its closely argued analysis and attention to the disciplinary concerns of comparative politics, its intellectual unity, and, yes, even the quality of its writing make it a monument of scholarship.' Michael J. Montesano, Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia
This book traces the roots of Thailand's political development from 1932 to the present, accounting for the intervening period's political turmoil.
About the Author
Federico Ferrara was awarded a doctorate in Political Science by Harvard University, Massachusetts in 2008. Since then, he has served as Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore (Department of Political Science, 2008-10) and the City University of Hong Kong (Department of Asian and International Studies, 2010-current), where he teaches courses on comparative politics and social science theory and methodology. At City University, he also serves as Research Degree Co-ordinator, with responsibility for managing the department's PhD programme. His scholarly work on subjects including comparative political institutions, political parties and elections, contentious politics, and Thai politics and history has appeared in academic journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, the International Political Science Review, the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, and Electoral Studies. Previous books include the co-authored Mixed Electoral Systems (2005), as well as the non-academic Thailand Unhinged: The Death of Thai-Style Democracy (2011).