Democratic constitutional monarchy

The democratic constitutional monarchy is one whereby the monarch is the head of the state, but assumes limited political clout and jurisdiction over political matters is the prerogative of the executive and legislative bodies of the state, excluding the body of aristocrats. The Thai monarch principally assumes a ceremonial role in political sphere and plays a larger role in the socio-economic sphere.

The Thai political system is essentially a compromise between the traditional political institution, namely Theravada Buddhist monarchy under the Chakri dynasty and facets of western institutions, namely secular administrative bodies, representative institutions and intricate bureaucracies. It exhibits western bureaucratic structures, but retains some traditional features such as village headmen and provincial governors or chao muang.

The democratic constitutional monarchy has been an effective political system in Thailand, bringing about numerous reforms to modernize Thailand and solve socio-economic impediments of development such as sanitation, infrastructure and health. The original monarchical institution emphasized principles of absolutism and totalitarianism, thus representative institutions such as parliaments and legislative bodies could not be established and the emerging proletariat and bourgeoisie could not have a say in political matters.

The system of democratic constitutional monarchy however allows the Thai people to elect their leaders and participate in policy-making, which is essential for a modern state. The democratic constitutional monarchy is also more effective, for this modern institution relies on meritocracy rather than on birth and personal connections with aristocracy to secure a position in the government. Also the effectiveness of kingship depends on political legitimacy and the personal qualities of the king, thus under a weaker king the state will suffer and will prosper under a stronger one.

This illustrates that the effectiveness of monarchy as a political institution is often subjected to fluctuations. This fluctuating nature could lead to civil unrest as well, thus a democratic constitutional monarchy in some manners maintains social stability and security in the country. The Turkish political system however does not retain or assimilate its traditional political structure. Following the demise of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century, an archetypal European model of a secular Republic was embraced to define the political structure of Turkey.

The Turkish Republic's executive structure exhibits a dual nature, with the president's office and the council of ministers and legislative authority is vested in the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Its political structure is intricate and consists of numerous bureaucracies and secular administrative bodies. Political expression is much freer in Turkey in comparison to the other Islamic nations and citizens are encouraged to engage in the policy-making process.

Representative institutions are based on universal suffrage. This form of government is effective in Turkey, though it has its limitations. Numerous socio-economic problems such as abominable rural living conditions and low literacy rates which were characteristic of the declining days of the Ottoman empire, were resolved in the new governmental system which allowed for greater social and economic reforms.

Though numerous developments have taken place, the government faces a new opposition in the face of pan-Islamic culture, the fundamentalists and dogmatic followers of Islam who do not confirm to the European structure and pressure the government to allow for religious institutions to gain greater political ascendancy and preeminence. Such persistent requests could lead to conflict and civil unrest in the future, thus the governmental structure is limited. Also intricate bureaucracies make governmental processes less efficient.