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Title: Sufficiency Economy in Practice: A Governmentality Perspective on Agrarian Change
Authors: Gan Chok Yu Kevin
Keywords: Sufficiency Economy, Thailand, Agrarian Change, Governmentality, Counter-Conduct, Alternative Food Networks
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Gan Chok Yu Kevin (2018). Sufficiency Economy in Practice: A Governmentality Perspective on Agrarian Change. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Sufficiency Economy (SE) is a Thai-based philosophy accredited to the late King Bhumibol. It gained prominence after the 1997 Asian financial crisis and has been employed in Thai developmental policies and initiatives, especially in the context of rural development. SE has been operationalised into several farming techniques and methods that attempt to shape the rationalities and behaviours of the farmers, for example the New Theory of Agriculture (NTA) and organic farming. Focusing on two villages in Chiang Rai Province, Northern Thailand, this thesis seeks to investigate 1) the discourses surrounding SE and the techniques employed by the state to promote SE in these two villages, 2) the negotiations and contestations of SE by farmers and 3) the effect of SE on agrarian livelihoods and farming practices. This thesis aims to explore both top-down and bottom-up understandings of SE through examining state discourses and employing a quasi-ethnographic approach in the chosen villages. The results found that there are different interpretations of SE, ranging from absolutist to pragmatic. The state’s approach in promoting SE appears to be pragmatic albeit with an equal emphasis on morality. Farmers in these two villages, however, taken a more pragmatic approach in their negotiation and contestation of SE. Agriculture practices and livelihood strategies have changed as a result of SE. For farmers who adopt SE in these two villages, there have been uneven impacts on income levels, social capital and habits amongst other changes.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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