From Thaksin's Social Capitalism to Self-sufficiency Economics in Thailand

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    The intension of this paper is to scrutinize the evolution of economic policy under Thaksin's reign and asks the question whether it was a genuine response to the aftermath of the financial crisis and also whether it was a pro-active socially oriented policy towards the effects of the IMF's austerity measures. What was rhetoric and what was real politik? Were his populist social partnerships and nationalist rethoric a device which hijacked segments of the population in order to fulfil Thaksin's personal fortunes and kleptocratic tendencies? The paper focuses on the nationalist social policy in order to understand its real intend. It furthermore explores the notion of self-sufficient economics - a term launched by King Bhumipol as a response to the crisis. The paper is divided into four parts. The first part explores recent changes in the global economy which have had an important impact on Thai policymaker' room of manoeuvre and focuses on the sequence from the crisis in 1997, the impact of the Thaksin era on the economy and the implications of the recent military coup d'Etat. The second part discusses the new nationalism of the Thaksin administration and the inherent contradictions related to its shift with regard to its policies towards privatization. It traces the increase in labor militancy before and after the crisis and investigates its impact on privatization, social policy and entitlements. The third part asks whether self-sufficiency is a possible solution to the stalemate of the Thai political economy. Finally, the paper rounds up by pointing to a number of recent events in Thai politics related to both the impact of the financial crisis - ten years after - and an evaluation of Thaksin's economic policies and some remarks about sufficiency economics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2007
    Number of pages27
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    EventAutochthoneity or Development? Asian ‘Tigers' in the World: Ten Years after the Crisis - Wien, Austria
    Duration: 19 Sept 200721 Sept 2007


    ConferenceAutochthoneity or Development? Asian ‘Tigers' in the World: Ten Years after the Crisis


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