• Chakkri Chaipinit -


Thaksinism, Populism, Thaksinomics, Thai Politics


   This academic article aims to revisit Thaksinism which had been occupying the Thai political scene for decades and its importance toward the contemporary politics of Thailand. The article employs theoretical framework on populism, with literature surveys through academic publications, journals, and news to understand Thaksinism and its implications. The article has been divided into three main parts: the background of Thaksin Shinawatra and his political career; Thaksin’s populism and its hegemonic position; and the three core elements of Thaksinism. The article finds that though making the definition of Thaksinism has witnessed a controversial, this article contends to argue that Thaksinism was the ‘hegemonic-populism’ regime led by Thaksin Shinawatra. The regime had reflected the mixing up of multifaceted elements ranging from the political arena as the mechanism to propose the hegemonic status, the promotion of economic growth domestically twinned by the enhancement of competitiveness among the new class of entrepreneur, and the penetration into every corner of social fabric through the social order campaign. To achieve the mission, Thaksinism had been envisaged as the complex web of connection among the Thai Rak Thai Party, big businesses, mass media, and military. Most importantly, the populist economy scheme was the major mechanism of Thaksinism in directing resources to the locals and grassroots. Such populist policies allowed Thaksin to successfully contain dislocations in the Thai politics, and eventually supported him toward the hegemonic politician in the early of 21st century.


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