The Prospects and Limitations of Bureaucratic Reforms in Thailand since 2014
This article analyzes the ongoing attempt of the Prayut government to improve the quality of public service over the last three years (May 2014 – the first quarter of 2017). Both the opportunities and limitations of bureaucratic reforms will be discussed. The existing literature on political reform under non-democratic regimes found that recently the durability of these regimes largely depends on their performance legitimacy or output legitimacy, rather than repressive power. This scholarship, however, is limited by the boundary of domestic politics. Hence, this article will fill the gap by providing a broader analytical framework for examination on the international landscape. It argues that the international environment provides contested international instruments, values, and norms for the Thai military government to legitimize the regime by enhancing bureaucratic performance through a series of reform measures and policies responding to international standards. These include international rankings, international development goals, and the standardization of public service. Notwithstanding, the continuing processes and outcomes of public administrative reform in practice appear to be constrained by the legacies of the Thai state, which might reproduce some similar unintended consequences of the 1997 reform.
Copyright (c) 2017 National Research Council of Thailand
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The article published and information contained in this journal such as text, graphics, logos and images is copyrighted by and proprietary to the National Research Council of Thailand.
The article will be published under a CC-BY-NC-ND license (https://creativecommons.org). This license means that anyone may freely read, download, distribute and make the article available to the public (in printed and electronic form), provided that the author and the journal as the source are acknowledged, whereas no commercial use is allowed and the work may not be altered, transformed or serve as the basis for a derivative work.