Understanding the Colors of Thai Politics Pasuk Phongpaichit and Chris Baker

Date & time

Apr 15, 2011, 12:00-1:30 pm EDT


Weill Hall

Thai politics has been in turmoil for five years. Politics has overflowed into the streets. Violence has increased. The army has regained a position of dominance. In this talk, Pasuk Phongpaichit and Chris Baker set these events into a context of long-run changes in Thai society.

Pasuk Phongpaichit is professor of Economics at Chulalongkorn University. She has written widely on the Thai economy, Japanese investment, the sex industry, corruption, and the illegal economy; including Corruption and Democracy in Thailand (1994), and Guns, Girls, Gambling, Ganja: Thailand's Illegal Economy and Public Policy (1998). Chris Baker has a PhD from Cambridge University and taught Asian history and politics at Cambridge in a previous life. He edited the pioneer issue of the Thailand Human Rights Journal (2003), and The Society of Siam: Selected Articles for the Siam Society's Centenary (2004), and co-edited Recalling Local Pasts: Autonomous History in Southeast Asia (2002), and Van Vliet's Siam (2005). He has also translated works by King Rama V, the Communist Party of Thailand, Nidhi Eoseewong, Seksan Prasertkul, and others.

Together, the pair has written A History of Thailand (2005); Thailand: Economy and Politics (1995; second edition 2002); Thailand's Boom and Bust (1998); and Thaksin (2009). They write regularly in the Bangkok press, and have written for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. They just completed a translation of the Thai epic, Khun Chang Khun Phaen.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and is a part of their public lecture series.