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School of Politics and International Relations

Dr Lee Jones, The myth of King Bhumibol


Often called revered, Thailand’s King Bhumibol was a divisive and negative force for Thailand’s politics and democracy, writes Dr Lee Jones. “The media are long on cliché and short on analysis: Bhumibol was ‘widely revered’, ‘semi-divine’; Thais ‘looked to him to intervene in times of high [political] tension’ and exercise a ‘unifying and calming influence’ – as the BBC typically puts it. The truth is, of course, more complicated,” he writes.
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