Democratization and Constitutional Reform in Thailand

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39. Democratization and Constitutional Reform in Thailand: Has Constitutionalism Saved Democracy?


January 2020
Kyoto University Press




Thailand’s modern politics has been a history of hardship, since the constitutional revolution in 1932, there have been 13 coups. With each coup, the existing constitution was abolished, and a new one enacted. Essentially, constitutionalism should be introduced to enhance the “quality” of democracy. On the contrary, however, constitutionalism is being used to curb the political demands of the masses in countries with emerging democracies. As the power of the masses fuels a sense of crisis among vested interests, and false sense of strengthened justice under the name of constitutionalism, in practice threatens the development of democratic institutions. Using Thailand as a case study, the constitution, enacted in favor of constitutionalism, can destroy democracy. This book probes the paradox of modern politics: how constitutions, adopted in the name of nurturing constitutionalism, destroy democracy.