Rise of a new Public-Private Relation in the Economic Nationalism after the Thai Constitutional Revolution(2022_2_40_022)
This study focuses on the rise of new public?private relations under nationalist policies in Thailand during 1933?1948 that aimed to create “a Thai economy for Thai nationals,” following the Constitutional Revolution. By examining the historical documents on nationalist economic policymaking, this study aims to illuminate the process through which interdependent relations formed between the People’s Party bureaucrats as advocators of the Revolution and Sino-Thai entrepreneurs. The formation of this network of bureaucrats and Sino-Thai entrepreneurs during the People's Party and Phibun governments (Dec. 1938 to July 1944) led to the creation of many semi-public and semi-private economic organizations and economic policy committees, and these organizations helped to continue the nationalist economic policies, even during politically unstable circumstances, helping to sustain the Thai authoritarian regimes afterwards. In previous studies of the bureaucratic polity by Riggs and the racial division of labor by Skinner, these Sino-Thai entrepreneurs are often characterized as “pariah entrepreneurs,” who were persecuted as foreigners, leaving them politically vulnerable under the nationalist policies implemented by the Thai bureaucratic elite. In fact, most of the wealthy Chinese families whose businesses had been sustained by the royal family had become estranged with the People’s Party immediately after the Constitutional Revolution. However, some Sino-Thai entrepreneurs began to take part in formulating and implementing the economic policies of the People’s Party and were involved in establishing national public companies with members of the People’s Party. In this process, some new public?private relations must have emerged after the Constitutional Revolution, and it is important to fill in the gap of historical explanations about economic nationalism in the 1940s. Based on the above, this study investigates entrepreneurs in the Siamese Chamber of Commerce and their networks with elite bureaucrats in terms of nationalist economic policies. This group of entrepreneurs continuously exercised influence over the implementation of nationalist policies even during the turbulent politics of the period 1933?1948 and they sustained the People’s Party’s regime and its legitimacy.
April 2022 - March 2024
Leader of the Research Project
The Ajia Keizai