Private corporations and public institutions in the US have pursued fairly consistent policy-level linkages with Asian-Pacific nations that seek to preserve American geostrategic dominance in this highly important area. Institutional power thus limits the impact of political change.
Against the backdrop of the current framing of protests as “unprecedented” in the way they publicly and frontally criticise the Thai monarchy and the monarch himself, Thongchai reminds us that it was only 2 or 3 generations ago that the public in the kingdom were able to openly talk about the monarchy, critically or not.
Thongchai Winichakul, one of the world's best known scholars on Thailand and Southeast Asia and a prominent student leader from the 1976 Democratic Uprisings at Thammasat University in Bangkok will offer a historical overview of Thai people's struggles for democracy and freedom.
At first glance, the Thai monarchy’s deceptions, manipulations, and silence appear far less fragile than the good silences recounted in Thongchai’s text. Crudely put, monarchic silence is motivated by self-preservation. It continues to deploy an extensive panoply of coercive and cultural power to protect its privileges, albeit to declining effect.
Mesrob Vartavarian discusses the history of the militaries of both Thailand and the Philippines and explains how they became so deeply involved in their country's politics.
Militias have contributed to the making of illiberal societies and the militarization of subaltern social groups. If democracies are to truly thrive in Southeast Asia, they must do so without militias.
With the advent of laptops, synths, mixers and other musical gadgetry, the DIY ethic endeared by small indie labels is back on track. The indie culture keeps artistry aground since in today’s music industry, the story will always be an issue between the haves and the have-nots.
FORSEA co-hosted a Special On-line Seminar: The Future of Crisis-Torn Rakhine State in Myanmar, with the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, SOAS, and Free Rohingya Coalition
"Our seminar today embarked on the long term program of de-imagining and de-colonizing Myanmar as an internally colonial state and re-imagining a new type of genuinely post-colonial society and a cluster of autonomous regions with a set of inclusive national and regional identities based on common good, multiculturalism, and respect for all faiths".
Thaksin and Duterte are leading examples of Populist Demagogy in Southeast Asia. Yet, they have both faced embedded elite interests that have mounted formidable defences of their privileges. This has curtailed populist inroads into established power networks.
In many respects, if we want to understand Southeast Asia's current state, we need to understand its past Cold Wars. Then we will see the United States was ultimately far more successful in pursuing its Cold War objectives in Southeast Asia than is generally thought.