Tag Archives: Thailand

Thailand’s Delicate Dance with the Major Powers

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s recent visit to Thai capital suggests that Thailand is now strategically courting authoritarian major powers, namely Russia and China, in defiance of Western criticism of Bangkok’s coup and military regime.

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Why Thailand Must Decentralize

Significant decentralization is not included in the Thai military government’s understanding of ‘reform’. The policy package being proposed apparently contains no such measures. It may be too much to hope that a group of command-and-control generals could implement a decentralization of power, even if they wanted to. They are doing the opposite.

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Jokowi Saves Indonesia’s Democracy

Indonesia is the most successful democracy in the region at this time — though all democracies in Southeast Asia have their defects. Jokowi’s victory will provide ASEAN with regional leadership as the 47-year-old organization moves into an ambitious phase under the ASEAN Community plans.

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Peering into Thailand’s Turbulent Future

The courts may shortly remove Thailand’s prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra. This would mean that in the past eight years, four prime ministers have been felled and four election results voided — surely a world record.   Behind this turbulence is major social change. Over one generation, average real per capita income tripled. The impact was greatest in the lower half of …

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The Long Road to Family Planning

Access to family planning is essential for the health and welfare of people and the planet. Family planning includes information and services for contraception and abortion. Family planning improves health, protects human rights, and makes important contributions to social welfare, economic development, and preserving the environment.   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cite family planning as one of …

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Medical Tourism in Asia Goes Under the Knife

Medical tourism in Asia is booming. People from both Asia and the West are being attracted to cities and ‘hubs’ of medical excellence in a number of countries, such as Malaysia, Thailand, India, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. This tourism is a reversal of medical travel’s historic trend of being from low- to high-income countries. But the travel for cheaper treatments, …

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Managing Southeast Asia’s Fractured Societies

Political unrest, economic divisions, social turmoil, outright insurgency and civil war are common problems in the modern age. In Southeast Asia such problems are pertinent currently in Thailand and perennially in the Philippines. Elsewhere, they seem to be characteristic of the troubles in Ukraine and in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and other Arab countries. What do these countries have in common? Some have to do …

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Thailand and Bangladesh: A Tale of Two Countries

Recent events in Thailand bear some parallels with events in Bangladesh. In both countries, the party out of power demands an interim caretaker government. In Thailand, the ruling majority, confident of its support from the majority of the voters, has called for new elections. The opposition, supported by the urban well-to-do, and some say, the military, is campaigning against holding elections, …

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