Bangkok and the Floods of 2011: Urban Governance and the Struggle for Democratisation

Chintraruck, A and Walsh, J 2016, 'Bangkok and the Floods of 2011: Urban Governance and the Struggle for Democratisation' in Michelle Miller and Mike Douglass (ed.) Disaster Governance in Urbanising Asia, Springer, Singapore, pp. 195-209.

Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Book Chapters

Title Bangkok and the Floods of 2011: Urban Governance and the Struggle for Democratisation
Author(s) Chintraruck, A
Walsh, J
Year 2016
Title of book Disaster Governance in Urbanising Asia
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Singapore
Editor(s) Michelle Miller and Mike Douglass
Start page 195
End page 209
Subjects Urban Policy
Summary Flooding is an endemic problem in Thailand, as it is in most of mainland Southeast Asia. The problem has been intensified by deforestation, urbanisation and global climate change. The floods in 2011 were particularly severe and caused the loss of more than 700 lives and a great deal of economic damage. It was also the cause of political crisis as different factions within the Thai society contested about how the flood issue should be treated and, in particular, who should be given priority in being protected. It is necessary to unpack the divisions within the society to understand why the governance system that was adopted did go into practice and why there has been so much deliberation over whether the post-flood infrastructure system should be implemented and if so, how. The limitations of what a democratically elected government in Thailand can achieve when obstructed by supposedly neutral public-sector organisations, the military and their allies are made clear. Trying to overcome these obstructions continues to prove beyond the ability of what elected governments can achieve in Thailand, and this seems unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. As a result, disaster governance will continue to be used as a pawn on the political chessboard and not as a means of saving lives and livelihoods.
Copyright notice © Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016
Keyword(s) Democratisation
Urban governance
Climate change
DOI - identifier 10.1007/978-981-287-649-2_10
ISBN 9789812876485
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