Political Control and Economic Influence: A Study of Trade Associations in Thailand

Chenvidyakarn, Montri

     The central purpose of this study is to apply the model of 'limited pluralism' to the explanation of the associational interest system in Thailand which is 'bureaucratic-military' polity, and to assess, on the basis of the findings, the prospect of its becoming a fully developed corporatist state. . . . In a larger context, this study may lead to greater understanding of the ways the authoritarian regime, in the course of rapid socio-economic and political development, copes with the problem of control and participation which is important for its success or failure in creating a stable but dynamic political order."
     The study "is aimed at analyzing one specialized interest system: that of trade associations. It will focus on their pattern of emergence, interaction and influence in the Thai bureaucratic authoritarian state. . . . Although the periods covered in this study will extend as far back as the nineteenth century, the main focus will be on the contemporary period, from the 1940s to 1973." Topics considered in the course of the dissertation include "development trends in Thailand since World War II"; "the Thai social organization, power structure and political culture"; "public policy towards associations"; a global analysis of associations in Thailand; the pattern of growth of trade associations; "organizational structure, leadership, financial resources and services"; "the structure and process of public policy making in the modern Thai state and trade associations"; interactions between trade associations and the bureaucracy, legislature, and non-authority groups; "patterns of influence"; and finally an assessment of "the prospect of corporatizaiton in Thailand.