Item description for Guns, Girls, Gambling, Ganja: Thailand's Illegal Economy and Public Policy by Pasuk Phongpaichit, Sangsit Phiriyarangsan & Nualnoi Treerat...
Gambling, prostitution, drugs, arms trading, oil smuggling, and trafficking in people - these six illegal businesses are large and getting larger. They distort the economy and victimize people. They are increasingly linked together through networks of protection and organized crime. They help to fund Thailand's corrosive 'money politics' and to sustain corruption in the police. In this sequel to Corruption and Democracy in Thailand, the authors argue that control of the illegal economy, especially through reform of the police, is vital for the development of a modern economy and functioning democracy.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Guns, Girls, Gambling, Ganja: Thailand's Illegal Economy and Public Policy?
A sound empirical study Sep 8, 2005
Before I read this book, I had traveled to Thailand several times and I had interviewed a number of Thai informants on both the new second international airport project and on several ongoing LRT projects in Bangkok, related to my Ph.D research on large global infrastructure projects.
Based on my time traveling in Thailand and based on the many stories of corruption told by expatriate managers, I became fascinated with the Thai socio-economic, political and legal system. As a result, I picked up this book in a local bookstore in Bangkok.
I do not know the literature on Thailand well, but I was delighted with the breadth and depth of understanding that this book provided concerning the informal economy in Thailand. The book also describes the links between economic activity in Thailand and other nations in the South East Asian region.
The authors are Thai, but educated at Ivy league schools in the US, so they offer a local perspective underpinned by sound empirical research and analysis.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about the Thai economy, or about the basic cultural-cognitive belief and value systems that cradle and reinforce the innerworkings of this economy.
The policy implications suggested at the end of the book are not naive, but well considered. Although they may not be directly applicable in neigbouring countries (i.e. Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar), they should shed light on the types of interventions that will be necessary in order to increase transparency and reform illegal activities in the Asian pacific region.
Title of a rock song or what? Jul 17, 2001
Hey ..., let's go! Guns, girls, gambling and Ganja. The title does sound more like rock'n'roll than academic writing, but Thai society generally does. Reading the piece is quite fatiguing as it clearly aims at an audience of academics, not the average backpacker/tourist-trapper or just Joe Average trying to focus his vacating brains on something important. Well, why shouldn't it? There is a remarkable lack of interesting writing on most subjects regarding tourist-infested countries like Thailand, India, Nepal etc. Those who are interested in digging a bit further down the soil are referred to egg-head-writing. Now for a piece of somewhat more constructive criticism: GGG&G provides a good overview of police force-corruption, oil and arms-smuggling, hustling and illegal betting in Thailand and SEA. It could, despite all dullness, be recommended to those infected by hows and whys and perhaps a few was-it-that-bad?s on old Siam, in case the text was edited, a few more ordinary people were interviewed and I daresay with a few naughty pictures. The content excites, but the form in which it is provided turns down.
Systematic and scholarly study of corruption in Thailand May 24, 1999
This scholarly research project examines the economic, social and political implications of Thailand's huge illegal economy. Using government documents, published and unpublished research, media reports, anecdotal evidence, key informants, and other resources, the authors--all members of the faculty of Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University--look at the "industries" of gambling, prostitution, drugs, arms trading, oil smuggling and trafficking in people. Empirical data--sensitive and challenging to obtain--are extrapolated reasonably to estimate numbers of individuals involved, the volume in trade, the value added in Thai baht, and the consequent money laundering. Along with their links to international organized crime, these unlawful activities distort the economy, victimize people, provide funding for "money politics" and corrupt law enforcement employees and agencies.
The authors conclude that police reforms are needed to develop a modern economy and a functioning democracy. Because the illegal practices described involve important and influential people, some police, other officials and VIPs objected to and denied the controversial draft findings. The authors found themselves threatened, criticized and investigated in attempts to intimidate and silence them.
Numerous tables present the data collection results. The notes and bibliography are comprehensive, the glossary and index valuable.
Highly recommended for those interested in Thailand and Southeast Asia, business and economics, international relations, public administration and criminology.