Monarchies

Brunei Darussalam: Royal Absolutism and the Modern State

          Brunei Darussalam: Royal Absolutism and the Modern State. Brunei Darussalam (Abode of Peace) is a small, independent state with the only ruling monarchy in Southeast Asia. Since achieving independence from Britain in 1984, the Brunei monarchy has managed to consolidate its power and now has almost unchallenged control over the state. What explains the durability of Brunei’s [...]

REVIEW: King Bhumibol Adulyadej, A Life’s Work: Thailand’s Monarchy in Perspective

Nicholas Grossman and Dominic Faulder (eds.). 2011.King Bhumibol Adulyadej, A Life’s Work: Thailand’s Monarchy in Perspective.Singapore: Editions Didier Millet. 383 pages. In 2008, when it had become impossible for any credible journalist to ignore the entanglement of the palace in Thailand’s unfolding tragedy, I wrote an analysis on Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej for Reuters. A [...]

The Future of Monarchy in Cambodia

          The Future of Monarchy in Cambodia 1 Traditional Southeast Asian monarchies, whether deriving from Hindu-Buddhist or Islamic traditions, have been either eliminated or maintained by major colonial powers. The most powerful ones like the Burmese were destroyed, while the rest had to adjust for survival, including the Siamese. The last Burmese king, Thibaw (reigning from 1 October [...]

The Future of the Monarchy in Thailand

          The Future of the Monarchy in Thailand The future of any monarchy is at least partially determined by the strengths and weaknesses of its current reign and the path of succession to the next. This is particularly true in Thailand today where the present King, Bhumibol Adulyadej, is now the longest-reigning living monarch in the world. When coming to the throne in 1946 just [...]

The Monarchy in Malaysia: Struggling for Legitimacy

          The Monarchy in Malaysia: Struggling for Legitimacy Lately, there has been a resurgence of scholarly interest in the political role of the monarchy in Malaysia, as manifested by the publications of recent studies by Kobkua Suwannathat-Pian, 1 Anthony Milner 2 and Ahmad Fauzi and Muhamad Takiyuddin. 3 Such a revival would not have come about without the presence of [...]

Monarchies in Southeast Asia

         Monarchies in Southeast Asia Professor Michael Leifer, the late much respected scholar of Southeast Asian studies, wrote a preface for the critically acclaimed book by Roger Kershaw titled, Monarchy in Southeast Asia. Leifer said, “It is a conventional wisdom that monarchy has become an anomaly. In the case of Southeast Asia, this axiom is valid only up to a point. Despite the [...]