Bangkok: Global actor in a misaligned national governance framework

Douglas Webster, Chuthatip Maneepong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This paper explores tensions inherent in the role of Bangkok as both a cosmopolitan, outward looking metropolis and national capital of a country where 'Outer Thailand' selects governments, demanding a hinterland orientation from the metropolis. The situation is exacerbated by frequent changes of regime, often involving contestation in Bangkok's open spaces. Although the original raison d'etre of the city was as the national capital of Siam, the capital function has become less important since the mid-20th century, presenting both risks, for example security, as well as benefits, such as monumental architecture, to residents of the metropolis. A fundamental misalignment has developed between Bangkok's political and socio-economic roles. In essence, this means that Outer Thailand puts governments in power, but residents of the metropolis play a key role in removing them from power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-86
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 24 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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