The seminar with Thailand’s former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has unexpectedly been postponed until after the Thai national elections. Our apologies for any inconvenience caused by this cancellation.

In 2006 and 2014, the Thai military staged coups that overthrew the elected governments of first Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and then his sister, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Since 2006, Thailand has fallen into a protracted crisis based on an ideological division between the “red-shirts,” in general supporting Thaksin, and the “yellow-shirts”, on the opposing side of the political divide. Meanwhile, the conflict in Thailand’s “deep south” remains unresolved. In this process, Thai politics has become a domain of radical division and violence, and the development of democracy has been seriously obstructed.

Thaksin Shinawatra, prime minister between 2001-2006, is currently in self-exile in Dubai. Yingluck Shinawatra also left Thailand last year to avoid an alleged politically-motivated prison term. But their influence has remained immense in Thai politics, not least as Thailand is heading toward a new election in February 2019. What is likelihood of resolving the current political conflict in Thailand? What are the prospects for democracy today?

In this seminar, Thaksin Shinawatra will offer his opinion on the upcoming election and discuss the future of Thai democracy and its obstacles.

Discussant: Dr Pavin Chachavalpongpun, Associate Professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University.

Moderator: Dr Eva Hansson, Forum for Asian Studies, Stockholm University.

This event is co-organized by the Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University and the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.