Thaksin

The Business of Politics in Thailand

by Pasuk Phongpaichit & Chris Baker

  • Published:
  • Pages: 312 pp.
  • illustrations, charts & maps
  • Series number: 5
Available from NIAS Press worldwide

Since becoming prime minister of Thailand in 2001, Thaksin has been highly popular but also highly controversial. Observers have described him both as “the best prime minister Thailand has ever had” and “another grubby businessman.” This book is the first serious study of Thaksin in English. It examines where he came from and what he was (and still is) trying to do.

Thaksin Shinawatra has often been compared to Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi. Both are fabulously wealthy media magnates who have entered politics. And both have a possessive passion for football. Berlusconi owns Forza Milan and – as many of its fans noted with mixed feelings – Thaksin narrowly failed to acquire a 30% stake in Liverpool.

But there is more to Thaksin than football. He became Thailand’s prime minister in early 2001 following a landslide election victory in which he promised to “think new, act new” to transform the country’s economy and politics. Since then, Thaksin has been highly popular but also highly controversial. Two long-standing observers have described him as “the best prime minister Thailand has ever had” and “another grubby businessman.”

This book is the first serious study of Thaksin in English. It examines where he came from and what he was (and still is) trying to do.

by Luisa Dolza, Politecnico di Torino, Italy
From journal:
International Affairs, Vol. 81, No. 1, January 2005

"… should become standard reference"

"… should become standard reference"

by Alex M. Mutebi. Public Policy Programme, National University of Singapore
From journal:
Journal of Contemporary South-East Asia (ISEAS), Vol. 26, No. 5, December 2004

"Pasuk and Baker offer a very user-friendly and brilliant exegesis of the Thaksin phenomena.

In all, Pasuk and Baker’s book offers a succinct explanation of a man who continues to be in the forefront of a new type of politics in contemporary Thailand, and about whom many other Thai observers will no doubt write."

"Pasuk and Baker offer a very user-friendly and brilliant exegesis of the Thaksin phenomena.

In all, Pasuk and Baker’s book offers a succinct explanation of a man who continues to be in the forefront of a new type of politics in contemporary Thailand, and about whom many other Thai observers will no doubt write."

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