The Thaksinization of Thailand

by Duncan McCargo & Ukrist Pathmanand

Available from NIAS Press worldwide
ISBN Hardback: 978 87 91114 45 8, £40.00 (June 2005)
ISBN Paperback: 978 87 91114 46 5, £14.99 ()

This book examines Thaksin’s background, his business activities, the emergence of Thai Rak Thai, his relationship with the military, Thaksin’s use of rhetoric through media such as radio, his wider political economy networks, and the future direction of Thai politics. This detailed but gripping study draws on extensive research by two leading specialists in the field.

The 1997 economic crisis ended two decades of pluralism in Thai politics and helped create the conditions for the landslide election victory in January 2001 of Thaksin Shinawatra, a fabulously wealthy telecommunications magnate often compared with Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi.

Prime minister Thaksin has since exercised an extra-ordinary degree of personal dominance over the Thai political scene. The emergence of Thaksin and his Thai Rak Thai (Thais love Thai) Party has transformed Thailand’s electoral landscape, rendering previous analyses of Thai politics substantially outdated. This book will examine Thaksin’s background, his business activities, the emergence of Thai Rak Thai, his relationship with the military, Thaksin’s use of rhetoric through media such as radio, his wider political economy networks, and the future direction of Thai politics. This detailed but gripping study draws on extensive research by two leading specialists in the field.

Duncan McCargo is Director of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and Professor of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. A leading specialist on the politics of Thailand, his books include the best-selling Thaksinization of Thailand (co-authored), the award-winning Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand, and most recently Fighting for Virtue: Justice and Politics in Thailand.

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Duncan McCargo is best known for his agenda-setting contributions to current debates on the politics of Thailand.  Fluent in Thai and fascinated by Asia, he has spent several years in Thailand.  McCargo has also lived in Singapore, taught in Belfast, Cambodia and Japan, and published on Indonesia and Vietnam.  He is committed to doing serious fieldwork, and&nb

Duncan McCargo is best known for his agenda-setting contributions to current debates on the politics of Thailand.  Fluent in Thai and fascinated by Asia, he has spent several years in Thailand.  McCargo has also lived in Singapore, taught in Belfast, Cambodia and Japan, and published on Indonesia and Vietnam.  He is committed to doing serious fieldwork, and Time magazine wrote of his work ‘No armchairs for this author… McCargo is the real McCoy.’

McCargo’s main research interests lie in the politics of contemporary Thailand, including issues such as Buddhism, constitutionalism, political reform, the career of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, the media, the monarchy, the role of the military, the Southern conflict, judicialization and the politics of justice.  He also focuses on comparative politics in the Asia-Pacific region, including electoral politics, civil society, political transitions, and politics and media.

Duncan McCargo holds a visiting affiliation at Columbia’s University’s Weatherhead Institute, and is an Associate Fellow of the Asia Society. In December 2010, McCargo was awarded an honorary doctorate in Tai Studies by Mahasarakham University.

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by Nicholas Farrelly
From journal:
The Asian Journal of Social Science, vol. 33, no. 3, 2005

“Much of the book is meticulously arranged, assembling a good range of academic, anecdotal and media material to support a wide-ranging thesis about Thaksin and his influence on Thailand.” “Mccargo an

“Much of the book is meticulously arranged, assembling a good range of academic, anecdotal and media material to support a wide-ranging thesis about Thaksin and his influence on Thailand.” “Mccargo and Ukrist have made a special contribution to our understanding of Thaksin and his Thailand.” “…this is essential reading.”

by Joe Studwell
From journal:
Far Eastern Economic Review

“It is strong in historical context, and does justice to a number of competing academic interpretations of Thailand.

“It is strong in historical context, and does justice to a number of competing academic interpretations of Thailand. It also provides great detail on subjects including the repoliticization of the Thai military and the media influence and style of Mr. Thaksin.”

by Kevin Hewison
From journal:
The Bangkok Post

“…a fascinating and detailed account of new patterns of wealth and power that amount to a “Thaksinisation” of Thailand’s political and economic order.”

“…a fascinating and detailed account of new patterns of wealth and power that amount to a “Thaksinisation” of Thailand’s political and economic order.”

by Andrew Brown
From journal:
Journal of Contemporary Asia vol. 37, 2

“This excellent book, the product of a joint effort between a political scientist (McCargo) and a political economist (Ukrist), considerably deepens and extends our knowledge of the Thaksin phenomenon

“This excellent book, the product of a joint effort between a political scientist (McCargo) and a political economist (Ukrist), considerably deepens and extends our knowledge of the Thaksin phenomenon…. McCargo and Ukrist’s book is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding ‘‘Thaksinization’’ and what is clearly an extraordinary chapter in modern Thailand’s political history.”

by Karel Jansen
From journal:
Development and Change, The Netherlands

“… Written from a more critical and broader perspective.”

“… Written from a more critical and broader perspective.”

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