Country Listing

Thailand Table of Contents



The Area Handbook for Thailand, first published in 1971, was revised in 1981 as Thailand: A Country Study. This volume, a revision of the 1981 edition, recounts developments in Thailand during the 1980s, a period of relative political stability and respectable economic growth. Recently Thailand's attention has focused increasingly on regional concerns as, in concert with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), it has attempted to deal with the problem of the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia.

Like its predecessors, this study is an attempt to present an objective and concise account of the dominant social, economic, political, and national security concerns of contemporary Thailand, as well as to provide a historical framework for this overview. The 1981 edition, which this volume replaces, was prepared by a team composed of Robert Rinehart, Irving Kaplan, Donald P. Whitaker, Rinn-Sup Shinn, and Harold D. Nelson and led by Frederica M. Bunge.

The current Thailand: A Country Study results from the combined efforts of a multidisciplinary team. The authors obtained information from a variety of sources, including scholarly studies, official reports of government and international organizations, and foreign and domestic newspapers and periodicals. Brief commentary on some of the more useful and readily accessible English-language sources appears at the end of each chapter. Full references to these and other sources used by the authors are listed in the Bibliography.

The authors have tried to limit the use of foreign and technical terms, which are defined when they first appear in the study. Readers are also referred to the Glossary at the back of the book. In general, Thai personal names conform to the system of romanization followed by the Library of Congress. Certain exceptions have been made, including names of the monarchs of the Chakkri Dynasty (see table 2, Appendix) and those of certain other persons more familiar to Western readers in variant forms. Some religious and social terms are given in Thai; others are in Sanskrit, following usage in Webster's Third New International Dictionary (unabridged edition), or in Pali, the language of Theravada Buddhist scriptures. Contemporary place-names used in this study are those approved by the United States Board on Geographic Names. All measurements are given in the metric system (see table 1, Appendix).

Data as of September 1987