Isaan would not be in poverty if the central government distributed administrative power to localities and was more careful in how it imposed development policies and projects in the region. The series “What will Isaan people get from the 2023 elections?” looks back on how Isaan has been left out in such policy making processes, and what can be done to resolve the issue.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
A tussle over who gets to build and operate Khon Kaen City's urban light rail system is threatening the project's arrival.
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.
An analysis of the pros and cons of elected governors in Thailand.
Political scientist Thanet Charoenmuang on the history of (de)centralization of the Thai state.
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.