Resolving the impasse? Or spiraling towards civil war (Thailand’s election part 2)

A briefer blog this week as we await the Thai general election on Sunday July 3rd. Reading various news stories, blogs and twitter feeds the Internet is awash with rumors of potential deals between the Thai establishment and former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on the one hand, and threats of a security crisis that could [...]

Red storm rising or storm in a teacup? The South China Sea island disputes

In 1996 bestselling US author Tom Clancy (Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Sum of All Fears) wrote a novel entitled SSN which followed the mission of a US submarine in a fictional war between the United States and China over the Spratly islands. Similarly the plot of the 1997 James Bond movie Tomorrow Never [...]

Waiting for Godot: Democratization in Southeast Asia

In Samuel Beckett’s famous absurdist play the two principal characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly in vain for the arrival of Godot. Observing politics in Southeast Asia one can often feel like Beckett’s two characters when it comes to waiting for democratic reforms and political liberalization. Frequently there are false dawns, and multiple setbacks but [...]

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