A Regional Economic History of Thailand

A Regional Economic History of Thailand
Date of publication:  2017
Publisher:  ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute / Chulalongkorn University Press
Number of pages:  413
Code:  MEH8
Soft Cover
ISBN: 9789814786126
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Supruet Thavornyutikarn, Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, 2018.

"This is a book that Thailand aficionados have longed for, at least from the perspective of her economy. It is one of very few attempts to break away from the maxim that 'Thailand is Bangkok; Bangkok is Thailand'. The book is successful in identifying regional differences across the country and in reducing the dominance of Bangkok from regional specific characteristics. 

There is an absence of studies on the non-Bangkok Thai economy. This book is the answer and it gives a clearer and more accurate picture of the Thai economy historically. 

Explanations and analyses in each chapter are extensive, insightful, and critical without going into too much detail. Economic changes in the respective regions are well-observed, supported by relevant information and statistics. Regionally specific characteristics have been emphasized and traces of economic development in each region have been drawn."

David Feeny. Pacific Affairs, 2018.

"Professor Porphant provides a useful addition to the literature on the economic history of Thailand since the mid-nineteenth century. The book draws on documents housed at the National Archives, the academic literature published in English and Thai (and other languages), Thai government reports and statistics, and a number of unpublished theses written in Thai. 

As the title of the book implies, Porphant organizes the exposition by region: Bangkok, Central Region; the North; the South; the Northeast; and Conclusions. Porphant focuses on economic and political change in the period from the signing of the Bowring Treaty with the United Kingdom in 1855 up to the present, in general, 2010. (The Bowring Treaty imposed free trade and extraterritoriality on Thailand; similar treaties were signed with other western powers and Japan.) For the most part the exposition is chronological. Porphant argues that the focus on events region by region is a safeguard that avoids an undue focus on Bangkok and the activities of the central government.

It has been a pleasure to be reacquainted with the economic history of Thailand. In summary, I recommend the book to those interested in the evolution of the Thai economy and the parallel political and social change "

About the publication

This book presents an economic history of Bangkok, the Central Region, the North, the South, and Northeastern Regions from the signing of the Bowring Treaty in 1855 to the present. Most research has focused on Bangkok as the centre of change affecting other regions and has neglected other regions that had an influence on Bangkok. This book however looks at the changes not only in Bangkok, but also in the other regions, and emphasizes the ways in which Bangkok had an impact on the other regions, and how changes in the other regions affected Bangkok. It also looks, in turn, at each of the principal regions, and concentrate on the long-term economic and social changes and the various forces which promoted the changes.

Co-publication: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute / Chulalongkorn University Press

Co-publication: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute / Chulalongkorn University Press


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