T3918 THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THAILAND
January 5-30, 2013
Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Mae Salong, Chiang Saen, Phuket, Krabi
The Political Economy of Thailand introduces students to this newly industrialized, Buddhist, export-led, constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy of 67 million people in Southeast Asia. Through an integrated set of assigned readings, lectures, site visits, experiential activities, and guided reflection, students learn how Thailand’s politics, religion, geography, and history influenced the development and current performance of its economy.
According to the World Bank, between 1985 and 1995, Thailand had the world’s fastest growing economy averaging 8.4% per year. The Asian financial crisis, beginning with the collapse of the Thai baht in July of 1997, led to a deep recession in 1997-1998. Growth returned in 1999, at a reduced pace, interrupted again by slow and then negative growth in 2008-2009 caused by the global recession. In developing our understanding of these trends and their causes, we will give special attention to understanding how Thailand’s agricultural, manufacturing (including textiles), and tourist sectors of the economy changed throughout this period of boom, bust, and renewed expansion. Our travels will be primarily in and around Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Krabi.
The course begins in Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok. Highlights include visits to manufacturing and textile production facilities south of the city, a meeting with officials from the Tourism Association of Thailand (TAT), as well as visits to the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaeo, Wat Pho, and the ancient capital of Ayutthaya. Guest lecturers from faculty at Ramkhamaeng University and Thammasat University will guide our introduction to the Thai economy and its recent economic performance.
In Chiang Mai, faculty from Payap University’s Southeast Asian Institute of Global Studies (SEAIGS) will provide insight into the economic, social, and political history of the region, particularly Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, as well as the contemporary political economic situation within Thailand. In addition to these lectures, we will visit the US Consulate in Chiang Mai, agricultural production and processing facilities, and the Handicraft Villages of San Kamphaeng, Bo Sang, and/or Muang Kung. In addition, we will take a three-day, two-night excursion to visit Mae Sai in the “Golden Triangle.” Once a famous opium-producing region, government policy and individual initiative have transformed the area into other forms of agricultural production (including coffee) and aided its development as a tourist destination. To better understand the Thai tourist industry, we will fly south to Krabi. We will spend a few days exploring, discussing, and reflecting in one of Thailand’s most popular beachfront tourist destinations before returning to Bangkok for our flight home.
Costs: $5,245-$5,545* FINAL PRICE: $5,545
*Each home institution may have supplementary fees in addition to the price listed.
Comprehensive Fee Includes: Transportation and course arrangements as indicated, hotel accommodations in twin and triple rooms, continental breakfast daily, four lunches, twelve dinners and one cultural performance. (subject to change)
This course requires a two-course sequence in principles of economics (at Augustana College, these are Econ 120 and 121) or the written permission of Dr. Nesiba.
Joe Studwell. 2007, Asian Godfathers: Money and Power in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.
Michael Hitchcock, Victor T. King & Michael Parnwell (eds) 2009. Tourism in Southeast Asia: Challenges and New Directions.
Piya Pangsapa. 2007. Textures of Struggle: The Emergence of Resistance among Garment Workers in Thailand, Cornell University Press.
15% Preliminary Paper
15% Site Report
10% Participation, Decorum, Attendance, and Tardiness
30% Reflective Journal Entries
20% Final Comprehensive Integrated Group Presentation
10% Final Vocabulary Examination
Reynold F. Nesiba, Ph.D., Augustana College (605) 274-5310
Maren Peterson (507) 298-0431
Description of Faculty Directors
Dr. Nesiba is an Associate Professor of Economics at Augustana College. He received a B.A. in economics from the University of Denver in 1989, and his M.A. (1991) and a Ph.D. (1995) in economics from the University of Notre Dame. Since 1995, Dr. Nesiba has been teaching at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota where he currently serves as Associate Professor of Economics. He is the recipient of both the Augustana Student Association (ASA) Faculty Recognition Award and the Vernon and Mildred Niebuhr Faculty Excellence Award for his teaching. His two co-authored textbooks, An Introduction to Financial Markets and Institutions, and Economics: An Introduction to Traditional and Progressive Views, are available at M.E. Sharpe. His academic research has been published in a variety of journals including Social Problems, the Journal of Economic Issues, the Journal of Urban Affairs, Cityscape, the Review of Radical Political Economics and other edited volumes. His current research interests include mortgage foreclosures, the history of money, and evaluating undergraduate political economy curricula. Over the last decade, Dr. Nesiba has led or co-led three spring break travel seminars to Nicaragua and five January-term courses to Australia. He looks forward to co-leading a summer, May-June 2012, On the Silk Road course in China before leading this course to Thailand in January of 2013.
Ms. Peterson is a 2011 graduate of Augustana College and a former student of SEAIGS in Chiang Mai. While studying abroad, she conducted independent research for the paper, "Songtaews, Tuk-Tuks, and Motorcycles: An Institutional Analysis of the Lack of Public Transportation in Chiang Mai, Thailand." Peterson is currently a Project Coordinator for United Planet, where she works one-on-one with volunteers and in-country coordinators to arrange international volunteer trips. In this position, she helped coordinate and lead a group of Mongolian students on an exchange trip in Boston and Washington, D.C. Peterson has also led a group of students on a 5-week study program in Thailand. She will use her language skills and experience in Thailand as assistant program director for this course.
Application Procedures & Deadline
· Select the Apply Now button at the top to start your online application.
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· Complete all application materials by the application deadline. There will be a priority enrollment period from April 2-16, 2012 for all UMAIE programs. We encourage students to apply by the priority deadline of Monday, April 16. Applications will be accepted after April 16 for programs with space still remaining until the final application deadline of October 3, 2012.
Priority Application Deadline: April 16, 2012
Final Application Deadline: October 3, 2012
For more information on course content, contact Dr. Reynold F. Nesiba
On application procedures or logistical information, contact your study abroad office.