14th International Conference on Thai Studies
“Thailand at a Global Turning Point”
On behalf of the Organizing Committee of the 14th International Conference on Thai Studies (ICTS14), it is my pleasure to welcome all participants to Kyoto.
ICTS14 is taking place at a time of unprecedented challenges not only for Thailand but for the entire world. More than ever before, we are made aware of the porosity of borders, the inextricable connectedness of the world’s population, environment, economy, and politics. Since early 2020, the pandemic has affected our societies from the details of our everyday lives and well-being to the larger world systems. Around the world, new modes of behavior, and new systems of public health, communication, economy, governance, culture etc. are being sought. As academics, we are faced with a grave challenge towards new paradigms for understanding the situation as well as shaping the future.
In Thailand, the economy has been staggering due to middle-income trap. Economic inequalities are growing, leaving a negative impact on society and politics. Politics has been severely polarized and its arena is narrowing. Deepening interactions with neighboring countries have increased mobility of people. It is time for us to think earnestly for a better and happier future for Thailand.
The conference aims to encourage Thai and international scholars to reflect upon Thai society, politics, economics, culture, and environment in the context of a global turning point that concerns relationships within and beyond Thai border. The conference will review and analyze issues in Thai society, including problems and conflicts arising from the current situation. At the same time, the conference will allow scholars to explore the state of knowledge in Thai Studies and identify gaps in the knowledge base that should be filled. We hope that ICTS14 will be an opportunity for all participants, from across many disciplines, national perspectives and varied viewpoints to gather to discuss the issues to look earnestly into Thailand’s future. We look forward to your participation and input.
This time, ICTS is held in Japan for the first time. It will be a great opportunity to reflect on the historical ties as well as the deep and varied connection between Thailand and Japan, as well as the width and depth of academic exchange between the two countries.
We hope that you enjoy your stay in Kyoto, and that you enjoy the opportunity to renew old friendships and make new ones..
Professor Yoshifumi Tamada, Kyoto University
Chair, ICTS14 Organizing Committee