Michael K. Connors of the School of Politics, History and International Relations at the University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus has reviewed a new and important book by Federico Ferrara, The Political Development of Modern Thailand, published by Cambridge University Press this year.
The review is now at the JCA website (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2015.1074716).
Connors argues that this is “a big and bold theoretical book” that is “deeply researched …[and] makes an excellent contribution to understanding Thailand’s regime instability by fashioning the country’s political history in a manner amenable to comparative analysis.”
He says that “Ferrara argues that the failure to establish the state’s legitimacy on the principle of egalitarian citizenship means reactionary forces in the palace, bureaucracy and the military fight rearguard actions whenever progressive social forces have sought to address the failing misfit of royalist nationalism and popular aspiration. The book records this cycle through modern history.”
This cycle is, Connors observes, depressingly familiar: “It must be said that the book is fashioned on continuity in the form of an ever-adaptive struggle by royalists to roll back the national democratic revolution.”