Friday, June 12, 2015

Thailand - a late decentralizing country

Since I first noticed about the book "Thailand - a late decentralizing country" by Tanet Charoenmuang I wanted to add that to my library as it sounded to be exactly about the topics I am researching, especially the more rarely covered local governments. However I never found that book in any of the book stores in Bangkok, nor any online bookstore, so I already had lost any hope to ever get my hand on it. But then a random Google search returned a Facebook posting by the Urban Development Institute Foundation, the educational organization which published the book - they mentioned they still have copies of that book in stock.

As Chiang Mai isn't on my itinerary for the forthcoming visit in Thailand, a friend was able to order that book by mail for just 250 Baht. As another twist, that friend was supposed to visit us in Germany, but then due to a medical problem we had to meet in Amsterdam instead. But finally I have the book in hand now, and was able to read some pages already.

The book is in fact a compilation of various publications mostly from the 1990s, ending with a paper on the 2006 coup ousting the Thaksin administration. Most to the topic is chapter 3, the 1992 paper "Decentralization - Task of the decade" which gives lots of details on the situation before the inception of the TAO in the mid-1990s and the upgrade of the sanitary districts. One of the decentralization tasks mentioned is however still pending, the province governors are still appointed by the central government and not elected.

I will probably write more about things learned from this book later. Little fun point: right now it is one of the few books I own which have their own Wikidata entry because I used it as the reference for Tanet's birth date.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tanet Charoenmuang? Ah - UDD intellectual who is an Octoberist as he has escaped to the jungle after 6 October 1976 purge. However, he has been in distrust because Army top brasses who pass through cold war since those UDD intellectuals have advocated separatist ideas of turning Thailand into 4 states after the overthrowing Thai Monarchy - the Lanna State, Isan state, Central State, and Southern state.