Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Rubin, Irene

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


Thailand--Politics and government--21st century; Thaksin Chinnawat; 1949---Political activity; Central-local government relations--Thailand--21st century; Provincial governments--Thailand--21st century


This dissertation examines government reform in Thailand during the administration of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (2001-2006), one of the largest reform programs in the history of the Thai administrative system. Through a case study methodology, this study observed the implementation of the Integrated Provincial Administrative System (IPAS), which represents the complex reform scheme initiated in 2003. While this study employs documentary research on the development of Thai politics and public administration in the period before the Thaksin administration, the investigator used qualitative interviews to analyze the IPAS implementation and process. The informants included provincial governors, deputy governors, provincial administrators, and local officers in three provinces during the period between November 2004 and March 2005. This dissertation presents the change and continuity of the political and socioeconomic systems in Thailand that led to and shaped the administrative reform of Thaksin. It addresses the subject matter of Thai administrative reforms from two perspectives. First, the institutional and historical contexts of the reforms with regard to the patterns of Thai governments and international organizations provide a large picture of the transformation of the Thai administration system. Second, the study focuses on the m anagem ent and tactical aspects of T haksin’s adm inistrative reform to answer questions about choices of reforms, the interaction of reforming sub-governments, and potential impacts generated by the changes. With an unprecedented large electoral mandate in 2001, the Thaksin government of the Thai Rak Thai Party had established a stable administration that made possible an overhaul of Thai administrative process and decisive policy choices. Th e changes have two major implications: a rhetorical application of New Public Management methods to public administration and a recentralization effort under the control of the Prime Minister. These changes shift Thai bureaucracy from a predominantly hierarchical structure dominated by the technocrats to untenable business-like administrative practices and strengthen the power of central government. The findings demonstrate that the management preoccupation of reform tactics not only contradicted an alleged reform goal concerning administrative power devolution and reversed an established decentralization policy for local government, but also politicized groups of senior bureaucrats.


Includes bibliographical references ([229]-246).


ix, 255 pages




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