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THAILAND:


Book Number: 21 856

Kulick, Elliott and Dick Wilson

TIME FOR THAILAND - PROFILE OF A NEW SUCCESS

Thailand has changed. From backward traditional economics and languid autocracy, the country has very recently joined the East Asian industrial development scene and has shown an unsuspected capacity for political innovation at the expense of dictatorship and in favour of more democracy.

TIME FOR THAILAND-PROFILE OF A NEW SUCCESS  (5.4 K)

King Bhumibol”ss very important role is emphaised. He has conciliated rival leaders, tamed wild generals, and led public opinion to cry halt to student extremism. He is the man in the middle, his magical qualities give him exceptional power, and he is revered by everyone. Unusually, he uses these advantages selflessly for the national welfare.

Tracing the numerous coups d'état by the army, this book notes that they often produce superior civilian constitutions leading to civilian party government. The most recent one first produced an interim government by bureaucrats which was agreed by all as the best Thailand had produced since the war, followed by a new civilian party coalition government less open to corruption than before. By a process of two steps forward and one step back, and through the operation of traditional tolerance and lack of antagonistic violence, the Thai system produces governments which compare with most neighbouring countries in terms of representativeness and efficiency. A complex system of checks and balances involving the parties, the army, and the King avoids the extremes. Meanwhile, Thailand exports billions of dollars-worth of electronics, textiles and other manufactures.

The problems Thailand faces are immense, including especially environmental damage, polarity of incomes and the spread of AIDS, all of which are carefully considered in this book. But the overall conclusion is a more positive one than some earlier observers of Thailand would have ventured.

(Bangkok, 1996) ISBN 974-8496-34-1

230 pp., 150 x 210 mm, pbk.

19.50 US-Dollar


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    This page was created on Decembre 22, 1996 and last updated on January 15, 1997.

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