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Journal Article

The Thai Bureaucracy

Edgar L. Shor
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 5, No. 1, Special Issue on Comparative Public Administration (Jun., 1960), pp. 66-86
DOI: 10.2307/2390825
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2390825
Page Count: 21
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The Thai Bureaucracy
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Abstract

The Thai bureaucracy, viewed as a subsystem of Thailand's self-contained political system, variously manifests cultural uniqueness. Insulated from external pressures as a result of the absorption of major societal interests within the government, the bureaucracy's orientation and preoccupations are conspicuously introverted. Political influence, personalities, and prerogative provide the immediate frames of reference of administrative officialdom. Career strategies, working doctrines, and standards of conduct in the civil service are flexibly calibrated to the particularistic norms of ranking superiors. Authority relationships, structured mainly by impermanent personal clique groupings, are tenuous and unstable. But efforts to institutionalize formal sanctions and channels of accountability founder on a cultural predilection for informal and covert control devices.

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