from Asia Unbound

Brand Thailand

June 07, 2010

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A tourist reads a book in Turatao Marine National Park off the Andaman Sea in southern Thailand’s Satun province on December 22, 2008.
Stringer Thailand/Courtesy of Reuters

In the new issue of Newsweek International, I have an article on the collapse of “Brand Thailand,” the global image of a country that once was viewed, not only as a paradise for tourism, but also as an example of successful democratization and economic development. Like a failing company, Thailand’s decline into internecine political conflict and economic stagnation was due largely to a series of poor decisions made by its “managers” – the political class that, between the 1960s and late 1990s, guided Thailand to stability and fast growth.