Southern Thailand: from conflict to negotiations

Event details

Public Lecture

Date & time

Thursday 01 May 2014
11am–12.15pm

Venue

Lecture Theatre 1, Hedley Bull Centre (130), corner of Garran Road and Liversidge Street, ANU
ANU Canberra

Speaker

Professor Duncan McCargo

Contacts

Kerrie Hogan
+61 2 6125 2167

Since 2004 separatist violence in southern Thailand has claimed over 6000 lives. Malaysian government backed peace talks, which were officially endorsed by the Thai government in 2013, have now run aground. Serious questions have been raised about the neutrality of the Malaysian backed facilitators, the credibility of participants and the lack of high-level Thai political support for the initiative. But McCargo argues that despite its various shortcomings, the Malaysian government backed peace initiative is still worthy of support. Thailand should renew its commitment to the talks and not be distracted by the political crises threatening to topple the Yingluck Shinawatra led government.

Duncan McCargo is Professor of Political Science at the University of Leeds. He is best known as a specialist on contemporary Thailand, where he regularly conducts extended fieldwork, most recently for the whole of 2012. McCargo divides his time between Britain and New York, where he has a visiting affiliation at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University, and from 2014-15 will take up a shared appointment with the Columbia political science department. His ten books include The Thaksinization of Thailand (co-authored NIAS 2005), Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand (Cornell 2008) (which won the inaugural 2009 Bernard Schwartz Book Prize from the Asia Society), and most recently Mapping National Anxieties: Thailand's Southern Conflict (NIAS 2012). McCargo currently holds a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship to work on politics and justice in Thailand.

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