Reading the Stars: When Divination Meets Politics in Thailand


What does astrology, palm-reading and fortune telling have to do with politics in Thailand, and how can we make sense of these divination practices and their use in Thai politics? Listen to Edoardo Siani and Petra Alderman in this episode of the Nordic Asia Podcast to learn more about divination and the way it was used during the recent student-led protests in Thailand.

Edoardo Siani is an Assistant Professor of Southeast Asian Studies at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Edoardo’s research concerns the relationship between Buddhist cosmology and politics in Thailand, focusing on divination, kingship, and spirit mediumship. To learn more about his research, read his article ‘Co-opting the stars: Divination and the politics of resistance in Buddhist Thailand.’

The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, the University of Helsinki, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo.

We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.

Your Host

Petra Alderman

Petra Alderman (prev. Desatova) is an associate researcher at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and a post-doctoral research fellow at the International Development Department at the University of Birmingham. Her research interests lie in the area of authoritarian legitimation, electoral studies and promotional politics. Her regional focus is on Southeast Asia and has a particular expertise on Thailand.

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