Southeast Asia: Democratic Deficit

Images of disgruntled tourists marooned at Bangkok’s airport have drawn unwelcome international attention. Mass demonstrations organised by the misnamed People’s Alliance for Democracy to unseat the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat not only disrupted tourism in the ‘land of smiles’ but also lost the export oriented economy $78 million per day. Yet the unfolding crisis represents only part of a wider pattern of political uncertainty besetting the leading economies of Southeast Asia and threatening the growth and integrity of the regional Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) which had to postpone the summit it planned to hold in northeast Thailand in mid December.

The World Today Updated 14 October 2020 Published 1 January 2009 3 minute READ

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.