DURING his tenure as Australia’s Ambassador to Thailand from 2010 to 2014, James Wise was often asked by visitors to give an overview of this nation and its political scene.
These requests coupled with his own hands-on experience of Thailand, including an earlier posting here as the Embassy’s Deputy Head of Mission from 1995 to 1998, have given James the right background and authority to comment in depth on what really makes this country tick.
His new book Thailand: History, Politics and the Rule of Law should be required reading for anybody unfamiliar with the often complex ways of this nation. Since retiring from the Australian foreign service in 2014, James has divided his time between Australia and Thailand. He is now an independent consultant providing assessments and presentations on trends in the political economy of Thailand. He is also an independent director on the board of ANZ (Thai) and the director of a foundation that has established a school for underprivileged children in the north-east of Thailand. In addition to two postings to Thailand, he was High Commissioner to Malaysia (2003-07) and had earlier postings to the Soviet Union (1987-91) and Papua New Guinea (1983-85).