The Background of Public Administration in Thailand

By Suwida Nuamcharoen

         The timeline will be used to examine the phenomenon in Thailand regarding the development of the Public Administration and how Thailand modernizes the Public Administration. In the corresponding period of the start of the timeline, the King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) sent his son and his family member to study aboard. A technocratic tradition in Thailand started during the Fifth Reign of the present dynasty (1868-1910). The objective was to defend national sovereignty against expanding European Colonialism and to regain the political and economic rights already forfeited. The reforms consisted of measures to unify the Kingdom and modernize it. The King and his brothers were at the same time Political Leaders and technocrats. By means of expanding domestic education opportunities and acquiring foreign advisers, the country was prepared for a change.

            In 1892, the major bureaucratic reform was the transformation of the tradition administration into functionally specialized ministries. At first start, the structure of the present government was established with the King serving as prime minister of the cabinet. While the King and the princes monopolized Western Knowledge in the early stages of modernization, conflict with the increasingly sophisticated civil servant become unavoidable. The cabinet ministers and the throne itself became vulnerable criticism of the leadership (Laurence D.Stifel, 1976)

            The 1932 revolution had an objective to establish a popular constitutional government. The revolution place common officials in power and organized a government that would rule on behalf of bureaucracy. Technocratic influence decreased for several decades after 1932 while the attention of new leader and the bureaucracy were distracted by the World War. However, most of high grade officer were still Thai elites and foreigners who had foreign education degree

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