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Title: Thailand’s relations with the GCC states: an analysis of state and non-state actors
Author: Limlikit, Samerjit
ISNI:       0000 0004 2683 5137
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2009
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The aim of this research is to assess the potential role that Muslim-related private sector associations in Thailand can play in the international relations between Thailand and the Gulf states. The overall objective of the research is to investigate the nature and future direction of Thai-Gulf states relations through observing the way the state and the non-state actors each interacts with players in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States and how the overall interactions shape Thailand’s relations with the GCC States. The hypothesis of the research is that despite limited resources and identity attached to it, the Thai state will continue to play a dominant role in Thailand’s relations with the GCC States, while the role of non-state actors will increase. The relations will expand more rapidly and efficiently if the state allows greater intervention from the non-state actors in some areas of interactions which are traditionally conducted by states. In order to prove the hypothesis, the author depends on multiples Internatinal Relations (IR) theories, and uses a newly constructed model, based on James Rosenau’s Two World of World Politics Model. The Universe of World Politics Model, like that of Rosenau, highlights the existence of the state-centric and the multi-centric spheres; however, it takes Rosanau’s model further by recognising the significance of external environments that affect relations, including culture and the role of globalisation. Thailand’s relations with the GCC States are studied in two folds: one through the dynamism within state-to-state interactions, and another through dynamism among private sector associations in Thailand. The overlapping area where state and non-state spheres intercept, plus culture and the role of globalisation, is the focus of this research. It brings to light the position of private sector associations in Thailand’s relations with the GCC States in the contemporary world and in the future. The non-state actors selected in this research are both private sector associations: one is local, the Thai Islamic Trade and Industrial Association (TITIA), another is a branch of foreign private sector association, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). The data was collected through primary sources and unstructured interviews with individuals from both the Thai government and private sector associations that are used as case studies. The research indicates that the hypothesis suggesting the greater role for private sector associations in Thailand’s relations with the GCC States cannot be absolutely guaranteed; an increased involvement of private sector associations is less likely in these relations. The findings show that both of the private sector associations used in the case studies are reluctant, if not unwilling to act as proxies for the government in Thailand’s relations with the GCC States. Such unwillingness is based on the associations’ characteristics as well as the boundary that the government has created to prevent these associations from too much intervening in international relations, which has traditionally been viewed as state affairs. The findings highlight both the government’s intentional and unintentional barriers for the participation of these private sector associations, including legal bodies and common practices among government officers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available