The Roots of Thailand's Political Polarization in Comparative Perspective


  • Thitinan Pongsudhirak


taiwan project slide
Taiwan Multimedia Slide

On October 17-18, 2014 the Taiwan Democracy Project at CDDRL, with the generous support of the Taipei Economic and Culture Office, hosted its annual conference at Stanford University to examine the politics of polarization in Taiwan.

This conference brought together specialists from Taiwan, the U.S., and elsewhere in Asia to examine the sources and implications of this political polarization in comparative perspective. It will include a special case study of the Trade in Services Agreement with China that triggered this past year’s protests, as well as a more general overview of the politics of trade liberalization in Taiwan, prospects for Taiwan’s integration into the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other regional trade agreements, and a consideration of the implications for Taiwan’s long-term democratic future.

Thitinan Pongsudhirak is the Director of the Institute of Security and International Studies, and Associate Professor of International Political Economy, Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Political Science. Dr. Pongsudhirak has authored a host of articles, books and book chapters on Thailand’s politics, political economy, and foreign policy, as well as ASEAN and East Asian security and economic cooperation. He is frequently quoted and his op-eds have regularly appeared in international and local media, including The Bangkok Post and The Straits Times. Dr Thitinan has worked for The BBC World Service and The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) as well as consulting projects related to ASEAN and Thailand’s macro-economy and politics. He was a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in spring 2011 and a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Humanities Centre and Centre on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law in spring 2010. In spring 2014, he taught at Yangon University, and he has lectured at many local and overseas universities. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Contemporary Southeast Asia, South East Asia Research, Asian Politics & Policy, and Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs. Dr Thitinan received his B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara, M.A. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and Ph.D. from the London School of Economics, where his work on the political economy of the 1997 Thai economic crisis was awarded the United Kingdom’s Best Dissertation prize.

The Roots of Thailand's Political Polarization in Comparative Perspective