Word has gone out that on Tuesday 28 November, South East Asia Research and the Centre of South East Asian Studies, SOAS will host a special lecture by Thongchai Winichakul.

Thongchai is, of course, a professor in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is best known for his 1994 book, Siam Mapped: A History of the Geo-Body of a Nation. Going on attendance at other recent Thai related events in the UK, his talk, which be held at the Royal Asiatic Society, 14 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD , from 5-7pm, should attract a good sized turnout.

Hopefully, New Mandala will have a face in the crowd, and will be in a position to provide some reporting on the event for those who don’t live nearby.

The abstract follows:

Thailand’s Coup: A Step Forward in a Dangerous Direction

How can the recent coup in Thailand be understood from the perspective of the country’s history of democratization? What is the “Thai” style of democracy? Was it a really “good” coup from this perspective? Was it a step back to reset democracy in the right direction or was it a step forward, but in the wrong direction?