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Navigating Geopolitical Divisions: A Glimpse from History – Thai-Indian Relations in the Early Cold War Period

March 15 from 15:00 - 17:00 BMT



CPG event series on peace and security in Asia


“Navigating Geopolitical Divisions:

A Glimpse from History – Thai-Indian Relations in the Early Cold War Period”



Special lecture


Dr. Patcharaviral Charoenpacharaporn,

History Department, Chulalongkorn University


15 March 2024, 3:30-5:00 pm, Faculty of Law, Thammasat University (Tha Prachan Campus)


presented by

CPG’s Peace & Security Center (CPSC)


Concept Note

In today’s geopolitical landscape, increasingly akin to the Cold War era, Asian nations once again often find themselves at a crossroads amid the demanding terrain of a vibrantly emerging multi-polar world. The strategic choices of Asian states today echo the complexities of the Cold War days faced by the countervailing interests and advancements of the contending blocs.

While the United States still stands as the preeminent global power, the geographical and economic closeness to a China that aims at regional hegemony and expanding its presence as a contending great power presents a formidable challenge for the strategic decisions of the states in Southeast Asia.

In her talk, Dr. Patcharaviral Charoenpacharaporn will link this present-day experience with an often overlooked aspect of Thai international relations during the early Cold War period, presenting a rare view on the diplomatic interplay between India and Thailand during the 1950s. Dr. Patcharaviral will focus on key diplomatic endeavors of both countries to foster inter-regional connections that transcended the ideological chasms entrenched if not created by the era’s superpowers. These endeavors are analyzed in the larger context of the non-alignment movement of the day, exemplified by the Colombo Plan and the Bandung Conference.

Dr. Patcharaviral’s explorations will shed light on an important chapter of Thai-Indian relations that might gain significance in the coming years and also contribute to the understanding of the dynamics of the Non-Alignment movement during the Cold War.

As nations today grapple with the pressures of aligning with contending global powers again while aiming at maintaining sovereign space of diplomatic maneuver and regional harmony, the history of Thai Indian diplomatic relations during the 1950s can serve as a fascinating reference helping to understand contemporary strategies in Asia and the Global South in general amid increasing great power rivalries.



(The event will be held in English.)


Dr. Patcharaviral Charoenpacharaporn is a historian specializing in the transnational history of the twentieth century, especially in the relationship between India and Thailand, and in various aspects in the Cold War period more broadly. Currently, she is a lecturer in history at Chulalongkorn University.

A former holder of the Royal Thai Government Scholar (2011-2023), she obtained her Ph.D. in history from University College London in 2023 with a dissertation on the Indo-Thai relations and their strategies to navigate the geopolitical divisions in the early Cold War which has recently received the Humanities & the Arts Highly Commended Prize 2023 from the Anglo-Thai Society.

Her research spans a broad range of topics, including cultural diplomacy, the construction and circulation of knowledge, ideology, and self-imagery of the state, modernity, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), development, and foreign aid.

Tomwit Jarnson is a CPG Senior Research Fellow, Associate Editor of CPG’s Asia in Review, and Senior Advisor and Member of the International Advisory Council of APCO Worldwide, a global public affairs and strategic communications consultancy.

He formerly served as Thai Ambassador to Pakistan, as Deputy Director General of the Department of South Asian, Middle Eastern, and African Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and as Consul General at the Royal Thai Consulate General in Mumbai, India.



Event registration is essential for participation; individuals interested are encouraged to do so by visiting the link or QR code provided below. For more information, please email us at events@cpg-online.de

⇒ Registration ⇐




March 15
15:00 - 17:00 BMT
Event Category:


Faculty of Law, Thammasat University
2 Phrachan Road
Bangkok, 10200 Thailand
+66 2 613 2971