Dr Michael Montesano is Visiting Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the Thailand Studies Programme and Myanmar Studies Programme at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak 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.
Recent mass students protests in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand have forced the hand of the government. If the Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha does resign, it could signal a victory for the protesters – or a determination on the part of hard-line elements in the military and the palace.
That calls for replacement of Thailand’s military-imposed constitution have touched on the political role of the monarchy is no surprise. Growing signs of support for constitutional change in provincial Thailand may be a more telling development.