A Forward-Looking Conversation with Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit on Thailand's Past, Present, and Future

Hosted by the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre

The Sumeet Valrani Lecture Theatre, and online via Zoom


Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit

Duncan McCargo

Duncan McCargo

Professor of Global Affairs at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore


 Prof John Sidel

Prof John Sidel

SEAC Director, Sir Patrick Gillam Chair in International and Comparative Politics


 Prof John Sidel

Dr. Petra Alderman

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham

In the 2023 elections in Thailand, the newly formed Move Forward Party won a plurality of 151 parliamentary seats on a strongly anti-establishment campaign platform, but was thwarted from forming a government. Against this backdrop, the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre at the LSE is hosting a conversation with Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the former leader of Move Forward’s original incarnation, the Future Forward Party. He will be speaking with Duncan McCargo of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore and with Petra Alderman of the University of Birmingham, both of whom are specialists on Thai politics.

This event was recorded and the video can be watched here. 



Speaker and Chair Biographies:

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit is a leading figure in Thai society and politics. A graduate of Thammasat University, where he first became involved in social activism and NGO work, he steered his family’s automobile parts conglomerate, the Thai Summit Group, from 2002 through 2018 through a period of rapid expansion. In 2018, he founded the Future Forward Party, which called for a return to civilian rule and democracy and a reduced role for the military in Thai politics. Elected to Parliament in the 2019 elections alongside eighty other MPs from the Future Forward Party, Thanathorn was promptly disqualified from assuming his seat. Following Future Forward’s controversial dissolution by the Constitutional Court in February 2020, Thanathorn was banned from holding political office for 10 years. But the reincarnated Move Forward Party subsequently won the highest number of seats in the 2023 elections, with Thanathorn supporting party leader Pita Limjaroenrat’s thwarted bid for the prime ministership. Today Thanathorn remains active as a vocal proponent of political change in Thailand.

Dr. Petra Alderman is Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Leadership for Inclusive and Democratic Politics
Research Fellow with the Centre for Elections, Democracy, Accountability and Representation (CEDAR) at the University of Birmingham. She is the author of Branding Authoritarian Nations: Political Legitimation and Strategic National Myths in Military-Ruled Thailand (Routledge, 2023).

Duncan McCargo is Professor of Global Affairs at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. He is the author or editor of no less than nine books on Thai politics, most recently and relevantly Future Forward: The Rise and Fall of a Thai Political Party (co-authored, NIAS Press, 2020). See his website

 Prof. John Sidel is Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre, and the Sir Patrick Gillam Professor of International and Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Professor Sidel received his BA and MA from Yale University and his PhD from Cornell University. He is the author of Capital, Coercion, and Crime: Bossism in the Philippines (1999), Philippine Politics and Society in the Twentieth Century: Colonial Legacies, Postcolonial Trajectories (2000), Riots, Pogroms, Jihad: Religious Violence in Indonesia (2006), The Islamist Threat in Southeast Asia: A Reassessment (2007), Thinking and Working Politically in Development: Coalitions for Change in the Philippines (2020, with Jaime Faustino) and Republicanism, Communism, Islam: Cosmopolitan Origins of Revolution in Southeast Asia (2021).

Photo by Colton Duke on Unsplash.