Growth vs stability under Thailand’s military regime

VeerayoothJCA author Veerayooth Kanchoochat has authored an opinion piece at The Conversation that readers might find of interest.

While he considers the succession to a new reign in Thailand might be “smooth,” he’s less sanguine about the future of the nation’s economy and democracy.

The military’s repression enforces social and political stability, but Veerayooth sees social stability as harming economic performance. He says:

… order and stability are the easiest task of any military government. In Thailand, such governments simply employ an ultra-royalist stance to legitimise their interventions, appoint traditional technocrats and familiar tycoons in key positions across the state apparatus, and suppress all political dissidents.

But it’s exactly these political alliances and this kind of ideological legitimacy that deter military governments from doing things that would reform the economy in the progressive sense.

At the same time, over the past decades or so, elected governments have been unable to deliver political stability.

He concludes:

For Thailand … to be prosperous – both politically and economically – either military or civilian governments have to go beyond their comfort zones and exercise the power of human agency against the status quo, rather than following structurally determined paths.

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