Responsable: Jacques Leider

Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre
20 Borommaratchachonnani Road
Bangkok 10170
Tel: +66 2 433 12 68
Fax: +66 2 880 93 32

Jan Dressler
Jan Dressler
Jan Dressler, EFEO scholarship holder
03 MARCH 14
Jan R. Dressler, is a PhD student of Southeast Asian Studies at the Asia-Africa-Institute of Hamburg University. He has been granted a 4 months EFEO field research scholarship during the first semester of 2014 at EFEO centre in Bangkok for his research on "The Development of Deputy Kingship in Siam".

Abstract of the research:

During the late 18th and early 19th century European diplomats, traders and travellers were equally impressed by the Siamese form of government, which was apparently headed by two kings. The purpose of my research project is to examine this phenomenon of a vice-regal institution (wang na) on the basis of Siamese and foreign sources and to describe the development of this peculiar office during the period between the establishment of the current dynasty in 1782 AD and the demise of the last deputy king in 1885 AD.

In order to extract models of supposedly proper behaviour which might have influenced the self-image and demeanour of deputy kings during the early Rattanakosin era I will summarize relevant episodes from works of Pali literature and the chronicles of Ayutthaya. Drawing on information about ordinary administrative procedures from mostly unpublished primary sources I intend to describe the development of the vice-regal office as well as its actual role in foreign policy, public finance and taxation, legislation, and religion comprehensively. By applying the method of diplomatics on official documents such as the deputy kings' laws, royal orders, commissions of court officials, religious deeds and land titles, etc., I will add a different approach to the study of vice-regal power and its expression. In a final step I will demonstrate how early treatises on deputy kingship as well as the editorial work on different chronicles shape the perception of the vice-regal institution until the present.

Considering the scarcity of original documents I want to invite interested readers to contribute unknown or unpublished documents from the Wang Na in order to broaden our knowledge about this neglected chapter in Thai history.

Remark: For any informations of the unpublished documents on "Wang Na", please contact janrdressler[at]