Item description for The Thaksinization Of Thailand (Studies in Contemporary Asian History) by Duncan McCargo...
The Thaksinization Of Thailand (Studies in Contemporary Asian History) by Duncan McCargo
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.58" Width: 5.51" Height: 0.71" Weight: 1.06 lbs.
Release Date Nov 15, 2004
Publisher Nordic Institute of Asian Studies
ISBN 8791114454 ISBN13 9788791114458
Availability 0 units.
More About Duncan McCargo
Duncan McCargo is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Leeds.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Thaksinization Of Thailand (Studies in Contemporary Asian History)?
Thaksin Shinawatra Jun 30, 2006
Authors Ukrist Pathmanand and Duncan McCargo provide a perfectly timed and well written book that concisely and directly presents the facts. The authors immediately note this isn't a political biography of Thaksin Shinawatra. There is a lot of information in this book about his background, businesses, and political life.
The "Thaksinization of Thailand" focuses on 5 elements:
1. Telecommunications business. 2. Thai Rak Thai political party. 3. Thaksin's use of language and media. 4. The re-politicization of the military. 5. Creation of the new political economy.
Many details are noted and sourced. Prominent, is the Shin Company, which earned enormous profits and attained major growth after the passing of the Telecommunications Services Act. This Act restricted foreign ownership to 25% which aided Shin, while simultaneously squeezing Shin's competitors. In the Thai telecom business and South East Asia in general, there is a "love-hate" relationship with foreign capital. Wanting to curtail it, despising it, while at the same time critically dependent upon it. Playing it both ways, is an old and contemporary form of split personalities, and old style politics.
I'm curious that this book origins of Shinawatra's rise to power in the telecom business didn't include his biggest move: Thanksin's joint venture with American William L. Monson in the 1980s. Thaksin violated the agreement, stole Monson's equipment, had police raid his office, and arrest his manager and staff and file criminal charges (which were later dropped because they were a farce). Another trial date is set for September of 2006 relating to this.
The Thai Rak Thai political party founded by Shinawatra successfully used (and still uses) a mass marketing approach now utilized in Thailand and other nation-states of the world. The roots of this approach and these methods are traced to U.S. and UK.
TRT is very adept at organization and became the main political party by not only isolating the main opposition party (Democrats) but by also co-opting (absorbing) other MPs from the Democratic party and the other lessor parties (e.g. Chart Thai, Chart Pattana, etc.).
The Use Of Language And The Media (and the party platform):
Utilization of language and media was and is a critical arm of the "political platform." Three of the major points of the TRT platform were: 1) A moratorium on farmers' debts 2) A million Baht fund for every village and 3) 30 Baht Health Insurance plan.
The creation of the People's bank or "bank for the poor" offered Business Development Loans allowed for low interest loans and maximum 15,000 Baht borrowing limit. Solidifying this crucial base.
These were one of the many "actions" that Thaksin and his advisor Pansak partook to gain support. These actions were emphasized more than ideological "thinking."
2006 Tipping point:
The Tipping Point in 2006: the Shin stock sale to Temasek, via Ample Rich.
This dubious financial deal was the Tipping Point that led to his resignation in early April, of 2006. As a result of mass protests Thaksin dissolved Parliament and held a snap election because it was the most prudent political move he could make, and it was the best way save himself, as criminal charges were likely to be filed. The Shin deal was the breaking point. It highlighted the fact that many governmental policies gave special treatment and benefit to Shin since Shinawatra's ascension. A schism between the rural poor (primarily in the north) and residents of Bangkok over the "caretaker."
The "Thaksinization of Thailand" does a very good job in synopsizing the history of Thai politics up and through the rise of TRT and Thaskin up to 2005. A helpful book for those that want to know some of the basics of the Thai political system.
Although Thaksin is not officially at the helm, he's a force. Hopefully those that succeed him can do what's best for the Thai people and Thailand. Where is Thailand's economy headed with high consumer debts and competition from its neighbor to the east?
This is a great book that's a quick and has lots of current information and a great bibliography.