Streckfuss on lese majeste

27 08 2010

It has been long in the making, but is apparently – according to the Routledge website – now out and available: Truth on Trial in Thailand: Defamation, Treason, and Lèse-Majesté by David Streckfuss. The bad news is the price:  $125.00! But it is a hardback of 494 pages. Hopefully it goes to paperback soon.

Here’s the blurb:

Since 2005, Thailand has been in crisis, with unprecedented political instability and the worst political violence seen in the country in decades. In the aftermath of a military coup in 2006, Thailand’s press freedom ranking plunged, while arrests for lèse-majesté have skyrocketed to levels unknown in the modern world. Truth on Trial in Thailand traces the 110-year trajectory of defamation-based laws in Thailand. The most prominent of these is lèse-majesté, but defamation aspects also appear in laws on sedition and treason, the press and cinema, anti-communism, contempt of court, insulting of religion, as well as libel. This book makes the case that despite the appearance of growing democratization, authoritarian structures and urges still drive politics in Thailand; the long-term effects of defamation law adjudication has skewed the way that Thai society approaches and perceives “truth.”

Employing the work of Habermas, Foucault, Agamben, and Schmitt to construct an alternative framework to understand Thai history, Streckfuss contends that Thai history has become “suspended” since 1958, and repeatedly declining to face the truth of history has set the stage for an endless state of crisis.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of South East Asian politics, Asian history, and media and communication.

David Streckfuss is an independent scholar who has lived in Thailand for more than 20 years. His work primarily concerns human rights, and political and cultural history.

Introduction: The Defamation Dilemma of Thailand 1. The Truth Recently Discovered 2. Regimes of Truth, Regimes of Defamation 3. Truth and Treason in Old Siam 4. Chronology of Thai Defamation-Based Laws 5. Normalizing “Abnormal Times” and the Endless State Of Exception 6. Intent and Import 7. The Insulted and Defamed (The Individual to the Nation) 8. The Insulted and Defamed (Monarchy and Lèse-Majesté) 9. The People 10. Culture and Traitor 11. Thai-ification And Colonisation 12. Defamation and Truth 13. Conclusion Appendix – Thai Defamation-Based Laws, 1900 to Present



2 responses

24 09 2010
30 09 2010
Praising the monarch’s constitutionalism « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] available at bookstores in early october, and will probably not be sitting next to the new works by David Streckfuss and the edited collection by Søren Ivarsson and Lotte Isager. This is because the new book is […]

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