Reviewing Thailand’s monarchy

Late last year, crusading journalist Andrew MacGregor Marshall’s long-awaited book A Kingdom in Crisis: Thailand’s Struggle for Democracy in the Twenty-First Century was published by Zed Books.

The Journal of Contemporary Asia has just published a review article of this book by Serhat Ünaldi. Titled “A Kingdom in Crisis – What’s All the Fuss About?” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2015.1046109), Kingdom in crisisthe review draws comparisons with the buzz that accompanied the publication of the acclaimed book by Paul Handley, The King Never Smiles in 2006.

Ünaldi argues that Marshall’s book is an “important contribution” and states that “it informs a wide audience about the damaging political role of the monarchy…”.

Ünaldi is critical of Marshall’s alleged failure to adequately acknowledge the “existing corpus of literature that deals critically with Thailand’s monarchy.”

Ünaldi is also critical of the book’s focus on royal succession. He agrees this struggle is important but argues that this focus is “unnecessarily narrow and should have been complemented by an analysis of structural forces as drivers of change.”

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