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.
“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.
The Isaan RecordJanuary 18, 2020
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.
The Isaan RecordJuly 6, 2019
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.
The Isaan RecordMarch 6, 2019
“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.
Pirun AnusuriyaFebruary 26, 2019
A readers’ survey on three core issues for government: taxation, governance, and public services.
The Isaan RecordJune 18, 2018
A tussle over who gets to build and operate Khon Kaen City’s urban light rail system is threatening the project’s arrival.
The Isaan RecordMay 29, 2018
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.
The Isaan RecordMay 24, 2018
An analysis of the pros and cons of elected governors in Thailand.