Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The politics of the decentralisation of basic education in Thailand
Author: Tan, Michelle
ISNI:       0000 0001 3497 7096
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2007
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
The political and social reform project in Thailand of the 1990s included an attempt to reform the basic education system, which in tum integrated decentralisation as one of the major reform components. This thesis explores the politics of policy implementation through the lens of decentralisation and is also thus a case study of contemporary Thai bureaucracy. It argues that the design and implementation of the reform efforts codified into the 1997 Constitution and its by-products, the 1999 National Education and 1999 Decentralisation Acts, were distorted by existing rival patronage networks. The core chapters of the thesis present detail on the processes. and outcomes of the Ministry of Education's educational service areas, the legal basis for the transfer of education provision to local administrative organisations, and teachers' politics and the anti-transfer movement. It also presents a case study of Roi-Et Province. In both the Ministry of Education's 'internal' deconcentration and 'external' decentralisation to local bodies, iron triangles involving critical national-local vote bases-permanent bureaucrats, elected politicians, and 'grassroots' vote canvassers-influenced both policy design and implementation. This study thus explores centre-local relations in terms of their legal or administrative, fiscal, and factional political dimensions. Ye~-long field research for this thesis was conducted at the national and local levels, covering not only central ministry-level politics in Bangkok but sele~ted provinces in Thailand's four major regions. In the highly centralised bureaucratic context of the Thai case, institutions (master laws) are employed as legitimising tools. From these distorted aims flow another set of distortions in policy implementation. This study thus questions the legitimacy, efficacy, and democratising potential of the 'private state' of Thailand, suggesting that formidable obstacles to decentralisation persist
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available