Constitutional Afterlife: The Continuing Impact of Thailand's Postpolitical Constitution
University of Chicago Law School
November 25, 2008
International Journal of Constitutional Law, January 2009
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 252
Center on Law and Globalization Research Paper No. 09-04
Thailand's constitution of 1997 introduced profound changes into the country's governance, creating a "postpolitical" democratic structure in which an intricate array of guardian institutions served to limit the role of elected politicians. Ultimately, the constitutional structure was undermined in a military coup against populist billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra, who had taken over many of the institutions designed to constrain political power. Nonetheless, the 1997 constitution appears to be having a significant afterlife, in that its institutional innovations have survived the enactment of a new Constitution and continue to constrain the political process. This article describes the Thai situation and speculates on the conditions for constitutional afterlife. Thailand's continuing political crisis, alas, suggests that the particular institutional innovations of 1997 have not been sufficient to channel political contestation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: Thailand, constitutional court
Date posted: November 28, 2008 ; Last revised: March 27, 2015
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