Udon Thani provincial budget woes are the direct result of centralized government

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.

Work in progress: a decade of human rights in Isaan

“Isaan people have become more rights-conscious, which means they won’t submit to anyone easily. No one can mess with them anymore because they won’t allow it,” says former human rights commissioner Sunee Chaiyarot in this interview on human rights in Isaan.

A talk with Thanom Chapakdee, the curator pushing Isaan’s new art movement

Thanom Chapakdee, the curator behind last year’s alternative art festival “Khonkaen Manifesto”, talks about his plan to shake up Thailand’s art scene with a new center that will officially open in Khon Kaen city next year.

Director of the ECT office Khon Kaen: Larger parties will rule election in Isaan

Apinan Chanoopala, director of the Office of the Election Commission in Khon Kaen Province on free and fair elections, democratic culture and decentralization of power in Thailand.

Two pillars of change: Decentralization and military reform

“Change takes time and patience,” says Natthapong Pipatchaisiri, a young businessman from Udon Thani and political newcomer, about Future Forward Party’s ambitious political platform.

OUR READERS’ VIEWS: Decentralization of power

A readers’ survey on three core issues for government: taxation, governance, and public services.

Khon Kaen mayor defends light rail project against meddling from Bangkok

A tussle over who gets to build and operate Khon Kaen City’s urban light rail system is threatening the project’s arrival.

Ten point plan for devolving power in Thailand to the regions

A 10-step plan for restarting the devolution of power in Thailand beginning with establishing a Minister for the North, for the Northeast, and for the South.

Core arguments for and against elected governors: ‘Thainess’ and the evolution of devolution

An analysis of the pros and cons of elected governors in Thailand.

Why can’t Thailand’s provinces elect their own governors?

Political scientist Thanet Charoenmuang on the history of (de)centralization of the Thai state.

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit: Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, and Phuket ready to elect their own governors

The co-founder of the Future Forward Party talks about decentralization, communities’ right to self-government and how to solve the problem of corruption by giving people access to state information.

Op-ed: Is the government’s boost to village leaders’ salaries a move to undo local autonomy?

The Cabinet’s decision to hike the salaries of subdistrict and village leaders may just be a move to undermine the power of local administrative bodies, argues Arunee Santhitiwanich.

Candidates Share Decentralization Policies

MP candidates from nine different political parties took the stage in a Khon Kaen University auditorium on Tuesday afternoon to present their respective party platforms on local governance and decentralization.