Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2019, 296 pages, www.marshallcavendish.com/genref
In my opinion, political scientists in the west have it so easy. Only three branches of government, two main political parties, the rest is just intramural spectator sports. But here in Thailand, political scientists are always completely exhausted – five branches of government (monarchy, military, legislative, judicial, and executive), an ever-changing kaleidoscope of multiple political parties, new-and-improved constitutions and laws, all combined with professional political contact sports including sharp elbows thrown (and always ready smiles). A winner-take-all view prevails on obtaining power.
James Wise has done all of us a great service in dissecting Thai politics with a highly readable, scholarly, and intelligently presented work. He has a lot of ground to cover but adroitly manages it by possessing an expert’s eye, an astute insider’s take on all things political here and a wheelbarrow-load of academic and scholarly research.
The author makes seemingly impenetrable, always confusing Thai politics clear and understandable. His book should be widely read, and he should be commended for it.