Buddhism’s Influence on Thailand’s Constitutional Arrangement

Since 2006, Thailand’s democracy has been in serious decline. Political power is allocated to a small elite whose control of Thai politics become increasingly pervasive and entrenched. Thailand’s constitutional design is influenced by two forces; the liberal democratic ideas and the traditional Buddhist values. And the latter is prevailing over more recent developments. Buddhism is not, contrary to conventional wisdom, ascetic and otherworldly. Actually, it contributes significantly to illiberal elements of Thai constitutional law. This article attempts to understand the influence of Buddhism through, first, Buddhist theologies, and second, the Sangha.