A New Hope: Thailand's Economic Prospects

By Modi, Vikram | Harvard International Review, Winter 2007 | Go to article overview

A New Hope: Thailand's Economic Prospects


Modi, Vikram, Harvard International Review


Observers around the world looked on with alarm on September 19, 2006, when Thailand's Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was deposed by the military in a bloodless coup led by General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Since taking office in 2001, Thaksin had guided Thailand through years of impressive economic growth. But despite initial fears concerning Thailand's post-coup economic prospects, the military government has the potential to improve the Thai economy by continuing Thaksin's successful policies while resolving problems that Thaksin had failed to address.

At first glance, Thaksin's economic achievements seem difficult to surpass. The deposed prime minister had steered Thailand through five years of strong real GDP growth, which peaked at 7 percent in 2002. Per capita income rose by 38 percent from 2001 to 2005, and poverty, a grievous problem in northeastern Thailand, fell from 21.3 to 11.3 percent. Despite these impressive achievements, however, Thaksin had failed to address several issues that would have had harmful effects on the economy in the long run. In the last months of Thaksin's government, a rise in consumer indebtedness, popular discontent, and a Muslim insurgency in the south darkened Thai economic prospects. In particular, the Muslim insurgency has plagued Thailand's three southern provinces since 2001, creating significant instability and diverting the government's attention from implementing its economic and social development programs.

In light of these failures, the coup not only may maintain the country's current success, but may actually deliver Thailand a fresh opportunity to improve its growth and stability. The new government has pledged that it will continue to follow Thaksin's more successful economic policies. Near the top of the government's agenda is a focus on infrastructure, a hallmark of Thaksin's development programs that was popular among both Thais and foreign investors. Infrastructure projects, several of which began well before the coup, include the building of water management systems and new railway lines. The military government hopes that they will help to sustain Thailand's economic boom and maintain the country's competitive advantage over other Southeast Asian countries.

Thailand's economy may also improve if the new regime succeeds in areas where Thaksin failed. The military government has already made progress dealing with the Muslim insurgency, an issue that had plagued Thaksin throughout the second half of his administration. The former prime minister had handled the issue clumsily. For instance, shortly before an escalation in violence in 2004, Thaksin abolished the civilian agency responsible for the administration of the southern provinces, despite the fact that the agency had improved relations between local Muslims and the government. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A New Hope: Thailand's Economic Prospects
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.