Dr Michael Montesano is Associate Senior Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He was previously Coordinator of the Thailand and Myanmar Studies Programme at the institute.
He spent six years as managing editor of the ISEAS journal SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia. His life in the region began in the 1980s, when he served as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in South Thailand and studied agriculture at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños.
There are growing calls in Phuket, Thailand’s tourism powerhouse, to become more autonomous from the central authorities in Bangkok. While such an idea has not gained traction outside Phuket, the province might need to think deeper about what autonomy entails, and in what form.
The inclusion of civilians on the country’s latest junta is impossible to understand without a clear appreciation that that this junta is above all an anti-NLD project. This article examines the profiles of the civilians co-opted into the junta.