Future Forward: The Rise and Fall of a Thai Political Party

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by Duncan McCargo and Anyarat Chattharakul

Future Forward deals with a remarkable phenomenon in Thailand's recent politics: the rise of a new party led by Thanathorn Juangroongruankit, a wealthy, charismatic politician who upended conventional understandings of how elections work in the country. One year after Future Forward was founded, it became the third largest party in parliament. Another year on, it was summarily dissolved by the Constitutional Court. This is the first book to examine the most interesting new force to emerge in Thai politics for two decades, one also exploring the wider dynamics of political leadership, party formation and voter behaviour in a society where popular participation was largely suppressed after the 2014 military coup. Based on exclusive interviews with party leaders and a wide range of Thai-language sources, it examines how Future Forward succeeded in mobilising so much electoral support, whilst also arousing intense hostility from the conservative forces demanding its dissolution.

“While McCargo and Chattharakul do not directly address the new student movement, their book provides the best available window into what might be motivating the protesters. For that reason, as well as for the sheer detail and sophistication of their analysis, the book is a must-read for anyone interested in Thai politics, and it is highly valuable to scholars of emerging democracies”. - Arun R. Swamy, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs

A leading specialist and prize-winning author on the politics of Thailand, Duncan McCargo is Director of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and Professor of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen.

Anyarat Chattharakul is a NIAS-affiliated researcher with a PhD from the University of Leeds, who specialises on Thailand's electoral politics.

Publication year: 2020
250 pp / 229mm x 152mm
10 figures
ISBN: 978-87-7694-291-5, Paperback
ISBN: 978-87-7694-290-8, Hardback

NIAS Press