"Business Populism" in Thailand
Abstract

Thailand's politics have changed dramatically under Thaksin Shinawatra and his Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party since 2001. The business-based party has gradually come to resemble the "neo-populist" regimes of Latin America. It appeals to the "disorganized" mass in the rural economy and urban informal sector by launching redistributive policies, distancing itself from old leaders, and simultaneously undermining democratic institutions and liberal values. The party's stance is a reflection of Thailand's political economy under globalization marked by externally dominated economy, embattled local capitalism, and large informal sector.