Industrialization with a Weak State: Thailand's Development in Historical Perspective

By Fumiharu, Mieno | Southeast Asian Studies, December 2014 | Go to article overview

Industrialization with a Weak State: Thailand's Development in Historical Perspective


Fumiharu, Mieno, Southeast Asian Studies


Industrialization with a Weak State: Thailand's Development in Historical Perspective Somboon Siriprachai (edited by Kaoru Sugihara, Pasuk Phongpaichit, and Chris Baker) Singapore and Kyoto: NUS Press in association with Kyoto University Press, 2012, xii+ 183p.

Over the past decade, Thailand has experienced constant political turmoil. Although fair evaluation of the economic "reforms" of the Thaksin government (2001-06) is not yet possible, there is little doubt that these "reforms" cut into Thailand's socio-economic fundamentals-long treated as a taboo subject-and affect the core factors that have stabilized and integrated the nation. Undoubtedly, Thaksin's growth strategies, various redistribution policies, and drastic rearrangements of vested interests (i.e. rents) enlarged the "economic pie." But these also brought vast wealth to crony business factions, attracting serious complaints from groups that held opposing traditional vested interests. Since the coup d'état of 2006, the political system has failed to adjust to conflicts in a democratic fashion and the last 10 years have seen the actual democratic process itself continually undermined. Public conflicts between competing groups have become a daily scene, leading to both the military and the judiciary asserting political control, even as the bureaucracy and monarchy do not show any signs of being in full control of the situation.

Somboon Siriprachai's posthumous book, Industrialization with a Weak State, develops his observations on and analyses of long-term economic development in post-war Thailand until 1990s. Adopting a critical stance toward standard development economic theory, it describes the Thai state as a "weak state," one contrasted to the "strong state" typically found in East Asian countries. Within such a context, the book discusses the characteristics and shortcomings of Thailand as well as the prospective challenges that the Thai economy faces. While the period the book focuses on is a little out of date (pre-1990), the argument nevertheless contains many insights which remain relevant for Thailand's present socio-economy.

The author, Professor Somboon Siriprachai, was a prominent Thai economist, who had long engaged in academic work on Thailand's economic development in Thammasat University. Regrettably, he suddenly passed away in December 2008 while in Japan, on his way back home from a conference at Kyoto University, where he gave a talk based on one part of the manuscript that became this book, and this reviewer was his discussant. Carrying out his wishes, his friends in academia, Kaoru Sugihara, Pasuk Phongpaichit, and Chris Baker, edited his published journal papers and gathered them together in this book.

Owing to the nature of the publication process, this book is a collection of the author's major journal papers, rather than a monograph. However, all chapters share a common concern: to shed light on the fundamental structure of the Thai economy. The seven chapters are divided into three parts. Chapter 1 presents an overview of the book and its basic questions. Chapter 2 focuses on export-led industrialization under the conditions of "land abundance"; chapter 3 on demographic change, land cultivation, and deforestation; and chapter 4 primarily on the inconsistency of development policy. The second half of the book, chapters 5 to 7, revisits the question of East Asian economic development. These chapters offer a critical overview of modern development economics and focus on the nature of the "state" as a policy authority in East Asia and Thailand by pointing out the limitations of the applicability of the East Asian miracle to Thailand.

Chapter 1 provides an overview of the trajectory of the development stages that took place between the 1940s and the 1990s. These were: the state-owned-enterprise-based economy of the Phibun regime in the 1940s; the private capital-led economy with national development plans and the conservative macroeconomic management of the Sarit regime in the late 1950s to 1960s; industrialization with primary product export and import substitution in 1960s; gradual conversion toward export-led industrialization while coping with the global economic recession of the 1970s; and serious macroeconomic imbalance and its recovery in the early 1980s. …

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
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 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 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.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Industrialization with a Weak State: Thailand's Development in Historical Perspective
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
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
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.”

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 8, MLA 7, 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." (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.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    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.