Author: Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Chulalongkorn UniversityWhile Thai politics has long been unruly, it has rarely been so unsettled and intractable as in 2011.Thailand has entered 2012 bruised and battered, even compared to previous bouts of political instability.

This year will see more of the polarisation and conflict that have underpinned the Thai landscape since a 2006 military coup deposed Thaksin Shinawatra. But Thailand’s focus will increasingly shift from Thaksin’s glaring defects to the exposure of his adversaries’ deficiencies and shortcomings. Paramount among the structural issues here will be the untenable hegemony of Thailand’s monarchy-centred socio-political hierarchy in the late twilight of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s reign

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Thailand’s politics hamstrings economic progress

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