The legend of King Prajadhipok : Tall tales and stubborn facts on the seventh reign in Siam

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-31
Journal / PublicationJournal of Southeast Asian Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


The figure of King Prajadhipok (r. 1925-35), Siam's last absolute monarch, remains of great significance to Thailand's contemporary political discourse. King Prajadhipok's historical role as the 'founding father' of Thai democracy, in particular, lies at the heart of the Chakri dynasty's claim to democratic legitimacy - a claim that is now widely questioned, both at home and abroad. This article re-examines King Prajadhipok's conduct in the early days of constitutional government in Siam. While the King's status as the father of Thai democracy is exposed as a myth, his actual historical legacy is shown to have been no less profound. © The National University of Singapore 2012.