M. R. Kukrit Pramoj’s theory of good governance and political change: the dialectics of Farang Sakdina

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  • Tony Waters

M. R. Kukrit Pramoj wrote Farang Sakdina in 1957–1958 as both a theoretical critique of western development planners, and the Marxist critics of Thai society like Jit Phoumisak. Kukrit’s critique was that both used only European examples to prescribe development policies for Thailand. By this he meant that the Americans insisted on modernization theory, and Soviet theoreticians insisted on Marx’s historical materialism. Kukrit responded that data developed from Europe is not applicable to Thailand because European feudalism had different attitudes toward land and labor than the ancient Thai “feudalism” known as sakdina. A textual analysis of Kukrit’s book Farang Sakdina reveals Kukrit proposes a dialectical theory of historical change in which the “contradictions” within society are continually resolved and reconstituted. Kukrit uses this data to analyze politics and kingship in England, Thailand, and implicitly, other countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156
JournalHumanities and Social Sciences Communications
Issue number1
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 05.05.2022