Department of International Studies

Department of International Studies
Humanities and Social Sciences Building (HSS Building), South Campus
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
8 Chongwen Road Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District , Suzhou Industrial Park
Suzhou,Jiangsu Province,P. R. China,215123

2. Thailand's Public Secret: Military Wealth and the State

Author:Pathmanand, U;Connors, MK


Abstract:After the military coup of 2014, 143 serving and retired generals of the Royal Armed Thai Forces submitted asset declarations to the National Anti-Corruption Commission on being appointed to the military junta's National Legislative Assembly. By analysing these declarations, this article demonstrates that a cohort of wealthy generals has emerged, which leads to the article's central concern: how is it that despite the political reform project of the 1990s, military leaders were able to evade scrutiny and become wealthy? It is argued that behind the lack of scrutiny of the military's wealth accumulation was a structure of fear that severely undermined the capacity to enforce regulations and which enabled the military to evade the constitutional forms of scrutiny elaborated in the 1997 Constitution. That structure of fear emerged in a context of an elusive political settlement when the apparatuses of the state were occupied by competing regime framers, leading to a re-assertion of military power.
3. Liberalism against the people: learning to live with coups d'etat

Author:Connors, MK


Abstract:This article argues that a perceived liberal 'defection' to a 2006 military coup in Thailand can help illuminate the authoritarian face of liberalism during an existential crisis; more provisionally, it is proposed that the Thai experience may provide lessons for understanding liberal decisionism. Detailing a single case has the advantage of embedding the discussion in cultural, historical and political detail without which the action is incomprehensible. The article applies decisionist and morphological theory and historical analysis as it explores the factors and motives leading to liberal coup complicity. The article's chief objective is to make intelligible a form of liberal extra-constitutional decisionism in a non-western setting.
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