The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Thailand is a timely survey and assessment of the state of contemporary Thailand. While Thailand has changed much in the past decades, this handbook proposes that many of its problems have remained intact or even persistent, particularly problems related to domestic politics. It underlines emerging issues at this critical juncture in the kingdom and focuses on the history, politics, economy, society, culture, religion and international relations of the country.

A multidisciplinary approach, with chapters written by experts on Thailand, this handbook is divided into the following sections.

  • History
  • Political and economic landscape
  • Social development
  • International relations

Designed for academics, students, libraries, policymakers and general readers in the field of Asian studies, political science, economics and sociology, this invaluable reference work provides an up-to-date account of Thailand and initiates new discussion for future research activities.

part I|51 pages

The history

chapter 1|12 pages


A timeless Thailand
ByPavin Chachavalpongpun

chapter 2|11 pages

Thailand in the longue durée

ByChris Baker, Pasuk Phongpaichit

chapter 3|10 pages

Thai historiography

ByCharnvit Kasetsiri

chapter 4|16 pages

Economic development of post-war Thailand 1

ByPeter Warr

part II|185 pages

The political and economic landscape

chapter 5|16 pages

The two faces of democracy

ByMichael K. Connors

chapter 6|15 pages

The logic of Thailand’s royalist coups d’état

ByFederico Ferrara

chapter 7|16 pages

The development of the hybrid regime

The military and authoritarian persistence in Thai politics
BySurachart Bamrungsuk

chapter 8|16 pages

Securing an alternative army

The evolution of the Royal Thai Police 1
ByPaul Chambers

chapter 9|16 pages

The monarchy and succession 1

ByKevin Hewison

chapter 10|11 pages

Lèse-majesté within Thailand’s regime of intimidation

ByDavid Streckfuss

chapter 11|11 pages

From the Yellow Shirts to the whistle rebels

Comparative analysis of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC)
ByAim Sinpeng

chapter 12|9 pages

Mass politics and the Red Shirts 1

ByClaudio Sopranzetti

chapter 13|12 pages

Judiciary and judicialisation in Thailand

ByBjörn Dressel, Khemthong Tonsakulrungruang

chapter 14|12 pages

Local government and intergovernmental relations in Thailand

ByGrichawat Lowatcharin, Charles David Crumpton

chapter 15|15 pages

Thai state formation and the political economy of the middle-income trap

ByApichat Satitniramai

chapter 16|10 pages

Thailand’s corporate sector and international trade

ByKrislert Samphantharak

chapter 17|12 pages

Industrialisation, technological upgrading, and innovation

ByPatarapong Intarakumnerd

chapter 18|12 pages

Transport and the Thai state

BySaksith Chalermpong

part III|155 pages

The social development

chapter 19|12 pages

Thai identity and nationalism

BySaichol Sattayanurak

chapter 20|15 pages

Money and politics in Buddhist Sangha in modern Thailand

BySara E. Michaels, Justin Thomas McDaniel

chapter 21|10 pages

Buddhism and power

ByEdoardo Siani

chapter 22|13 pages

Secularisation, secularism, and the Thai state

ByTomas Larsson

chapter 23|14 pages

The southern conflict

ByAnders Engvall, Magnus Andersson

chapter 24|13 pages

Class, race, and uneven development in Thailand

ByJim Glassman

chapter 26|10 pages

The state of human rights in the aftermath of the 2014 military coup d’état

ByTitipol Phakdeewanich

chapter 27|13 pages

Sex and gender diversity

ByDouglas Sanders

chapter 28|13 pages

The social media

ByWolfram Schaffar

chapter 29|13 pages

NGOs and civil society in Thailand

ByKanokwan Manorom

chapter 30|15 pages

Environmental politics in Thailand

Pasts, presents, and futures
ByEli Elinoff, Vanessa Lamb

part IV|52 pages

The international relations

chapter 31|11 pages

Thailand’s foreign policy

ByArne Kislenko

chapter 32|12 pages

Beyond bamboo diplomacy

The factor of status anxiety and Thai foreign policy behaviours
ByPeera Charoenvattananukul

chapter 33|11 pages

Thailand and the Great Powers

ByMatthew Phillips

chapter 34|16 pages

Thailand’s foreign policy towards neighbouring countries and ASEAN

ByPongphisoot Busbarat