Thailand is one of the most centralized countries in the world, yet the topic of decentralization rarely makes the headlines. Yet the funding from Bangkok can change the fortunes of a province. Recently, ambitious plans by Udon Thani were not just shut down by Bangkok but the provincial budget for the coming year was slashed. Mark S. Cogan examines Udon’s calamitous situation and how it fits within Thailand’s enfeebled decentralization efforts.
Vaccination efforts in Thailand have recently shifted from Bangkok to the provinces. But all is not equal between provinces. At the start of the third wave, Bangkok justified taking most doses because it had more cases. But in the Northeast, Surin has faced a major outbreak but it receives a fraction of the vaccinations its neighbor Buriram receives. Mark S. Cogan examines how unclear criteria has perpetuated inequality and deprives those who need and deserve a vaccination.
Mark CoganSeptember 2, 2021
As daily deaths reach 300, Thailand’s government has continued the struggle to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus. It has been unclear with messaging and accused of using Covid restrictions to silence critics. What’s made matters worse is instances where those testing positive suffer stigmatization. Mark S. Cogan looks at the social costs of stigmatization and how the government could do better to limit it.