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Interpreting Development: Capitalism, Democracy, and the Middle Class in Thailand

John Girling
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A study of rapid capitalist development in Thailand and the rivalries generated not only between the older bureaucracy and the newer, rising entrepreneurial elite, but also between urban and rural entrepreneurs. Girling analyzes the significance of these developments for the political future of Thailand. Intertwining theoretical considerations with empirical evidence and observations, Girling studies the main factors which contributed to the economic growth, evolution of state power, and emergence of civil society in Thailand and evaluates the relationship both between these factors and to society in general. He explores the classic problem of capitalism and democracy, the dangers and exhilaration of nationalist sentiment, the contradictions inherent in Thai development, and the rise of the middle class. His work is a fascinating reconsideration of problems that have faced many theorists. 1996. 95 pages.

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