#12 The Thai Monarchy in Global Affairs

December 7, 2021 at 7pm EST


We’ll open this session with an introductory talk on the session’s topic from Dr. Michael G. Vann. Afterward, Dr. Pavin Chachavalpongpun will speak on the historically significant role the Thai monarchy has played in global affairs. From the 19th to 20th century, the Thai monarchy fully engaged in a conduct of diplomacy at the critical time when colonialism attacked Southeast Asia, and thus, caught in the middle of two powers: Britain and France, kings of Siam (former name of Thailand) “bent with the prevailing wind” to save the kingdom and his throne from external threats. In the later 20th century, political interests between the United States and the monarchy were forever intertwined. Thailand, as a result, implemented a pro-US, anti-communist, pro-monarchy and pro-military policy, a standpoint that placed Washington at the heart of Thai affairs. This session will conclude an informal Q&A session.

Pavin Chachavalpongpun

P Chachavalpongpun Photo

Michael Vann

M Vann 768x989

Pavin Chachavalpongpun is associate professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University. He is the chief editor of the Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia in which all articles are translated from English into Japanese, Thai, Bahasa Indonesia, Filipino, Burmese and Vietnamese. Earning his PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, he is the author of many books including “A Plastic Nation: The Curse of Thainess in Thai-Burmese Relation.”

Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University. He earned his Ph.D. at U.C. Santa Cruz and is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empire, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford UP, 2018). Vann specializes in the history of imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia. A three time Fulbright recipient, he is currently working on a book about representations of Cold War era violence in Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Cambodian museums.