Our current understanding of the ‘death’ of important norms governing international security is both empirically and theoretically flawed. The literature has argued that a wide range of norms – such as those against torture, mercenary use, or unrestricted submarine warfare – are either ‘dead’ or under significant challenge. It suggests that the key cause of norm death is widespread violation. Yet, this claim is problematic because, for methodological reasons, these mainly constructivist studies tend to focus on single norms and measure their strength using degree of compliance.
At the centre of the vital Asia–Pacific region, Thailand is important. But, despite its large population and powerful military forces performing significant roles in state and society, Thailand has little military power.