The Thai military has been the dominant security institution throughout Thailand's history. The armed forces are in a power partnership with the king and play a major political role. Mostly, however, they are not accountable to civilian authorities. International efforts for a security sector reform have yet remained without result.
In PRIF Report 121 "Unruly Boots: Military Power and Security Sector Reform Efforts in Thailand", Paul Chambers scrutinizes the causes and comes to the conclusion that without more democracy no security sector reform will succeed. Only Thailand itself could renew efforts at a security sector reform and to institutionalize civilian control. The only way open to international actors is to provide Thailand with help and advice.
Dr Paul Chambers is Director of Research and Lecturer at the Institute of Southeast Asian Affairs (ISEAA), Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration, Chiang Mai University. He serves as Research Affiliate in PRIF's Research Group "The Cultural Dynamics of Political Globalisation".
The PRIF Report is available at PRIF for EUR 10,- and can be downloaded for free.