Abstract

The study examines Thai policy towards ASEAN during 1067-1979. Thailand's policy is analyzed within a holistic framework, incorporating political and economic cooperation.
The evidence suggests that Thailand's policy reflected largely the concerns of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The role of Foreign Minister Thanat Khoman was particularly significant.
Although the founding of the Association was greeted with little interest at the time, it is shown that its importance for Thailand increased over time.
Thailand was concerned that cooperation should enhance bargaining power vis-à-vis friends and enemies alike, placing an importance on political cooperation, and this aspect has marked its participation above all others.
An overwhelming theme was that Thailand acted as a crucial broker and buffer within ASEAN, its removal from the central ASEAN security relationship allowed it to play a positive mediating role.
The frequently-held view that Thailand was a largely passive player should therefore be reassessed.

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