International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online)

 

'Sufficiency Economy as the Model of Thailand’s Community Development
Thamrong Sangsuriyajan

Abstract
Thailand’s community development policy has generally focused on accelerating economic growth. Implementation has emphasized top down populist policy initiatives, which often have uneven distributional impacts, resulting in social-economic inequality between rural communities and urban cities. This is one of the root causes of today’s political crisis. Members of rural communities have a growing sense of loosing control over their lives in the globalization era. Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej proposed that the Sufficiency Economy could be applied as a model of development to empower communities and reduce inequality. This paper describes the King’s Sufficiency Economy model, its principles, potential and application were originally developed for rural communities, and its emphasis on sustainable development fits in with the way of life, culture and traditions of rural community. The experience of three communities is reviewed to demonstrate various ways they apply the principles of Sufficiency Economy, with a focus on the network of Asoke communities. The government can turn this political crisis into an opportunity to implement initiatives that support people to become self-reliant, resilient, and persevering and to build self-immunity through reason, moderation and integrity, which are the guiding principles of Sufficiency Economy.

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