For several months now, tens of thousands of Thais have taken to the streets of Thailand to demand constitutional and monarchical reforms. The movement gained steam in September and October, galvanized by student groups organizing pro-democracy protests over social media. What sparked these protests, what are the specifics of their demands, what may be the government’s response, and why is Katniss Everdeen’s famous three-finger salute a symbol of Thai resistance? To help us answer these questions, today on the podcast we are joined by Joshua Kurlantzick.
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Joshua Kurlantzick is senior fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He is the author, most recently, of A Great Place to Have a War: America in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA. Kurlantzick was previously a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he studied Southeast Asian politics and economics and China’s relations with Southeast Asia, including Chinese investment, aid, and diplomacy. Previously, he was a fellow at the University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy and a fellow at the Pacific Council on International Policy. He is currently focused on China’s relations with Southeast Asia, and China’s approach to soft and sharp power, including state-backed media and information efforts and other components of soft and sharp power. He is also working on issues related to the rise of global populism, populism in Asia, and the impact of COVID-19 on illiberal populism and political freedom overall.
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