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Title: Technocracy and Thaksinocracy in Thailand: Reforms of the Public Sector and the Budget System under the Thaksin Government
Authors: Suehiro, Akira
Author's alias: 末廣, 昭
Keywords: Thailand
political reform
public sector
the budget system
strong state
Issue Date: Aug-2014
Publisher: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: Southeast Asian Studies
Volume: 3
Issue: 2
Start page: 299
End page: 344
Abstract: Thaksin Shinawatra seized power in 2001 and then was exiled from Thailand after the military coup d'etat in September 2006. He himself is still the focal point of serious political conflict taking place in contemporary Thailand. He has always been attacked by anti-Thaksin groups on account of the following reasons: extreme power concentration, the political style of Thaksinocracy, nepotism, corruption, and populism in favor of rural people. However, very few scholars have focused on his political and social reforms which aimed at modernizing the Kingdom of Thailand in order to reorganize the country into a strong state. This article seeks to clarify the characteristics of the Thaksin government as a "destructive creator" of existing power structure and traditional bureaucracy. The article offers a brief discussion of Thaksin's populist policies such as village funds, 30 baht medical services, and one tambon one product (OTOP) project, and then explores the background of, the process behind, and the policy results of two major reforms undertaken by the Thaksin government in the public sector (bureaucracy) and the budget system. These reforms appear to have transformed Thailand from a traditional bureaucratic polity into a modern state in conjunction with an emerging middle-income country in the global capitalism. But Thaksin's ambitious reforms ultimately collapsed because they were too radical and too speedy for all the people, including royalists, the military, government officers, as well as conservatives.
Appears in Collections:Vol.3 No.2

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