Chapter 12: Thailand
Thailand has one of the largest economies in Southeast Asia, second only to that of Indonesia. The Thai population numbers about 64 million. Thailand is the location of one of humanity’s earliest civilizations. In the present day, it is a multi-ethnic society. About 75 per cent of Thai people are ethnically Thai, 14 per cent are Chinese, 3 per cent are Malay and the remainder have other ethnic origins. About 95 per cent of Thai people are Buddhist. Some southern states of Thailand are inhabited by Malay Muslims. The Thai culture has been influenced heavily both by Indian and Chinese culture and tradition. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy. Absolute monarchy ended in 1932 following a bloodless revolution. A unique political feature of Thai history is that it is the only country in Southeast Asia that was not colonized by any European nation. Consequently, Thailand has inherited long-established political institutions compatible with its long history and associated culture and traditions. Nevertheless, Thailand has undergone a series of political upheavals since the 1940s. While other countries in the region have established democratic institutions, Thailand’s democratic experimentation has so far failed to establish a durable political structure and culture to complement its steady economic progress and rising political clout in the region.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.