The Political Economy of Peri – Urban : The case of Khong Sam, Klong Luang District Pathumthani

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Nuttida Yenbumrung Pitch Pongsawat

Abstract

This research aims to identify a number of factors that lead to the emergence of peri-urban area as well as examine the power interaction within the peri-urban area. The case study is Klong 3 sub-district (tambon) in Pathumthani province. The supporting information includes primary and secondary evidence. The primary evidence is derived from interviews conducted with three groups of people including the officials from the central government agencies, the officials from the Sub-district Administration Organization in Klong 3 and local residents in Klong 3. The secondary evidence is derived from related documents and research.


This study finds that the factor that leads to the emergence of peri-urban area in Klong 3 is the fact that Klong 3 sub-district has been part of the development of Klong Luang district which had been transformed by the growth and expansion of capital within the area. With the state’s plan to promote industrial and residential sectors, Klong 3 was developed as a residential area to support the expansion of industrial capital from Klong Luang district. Moreover, the large area within Klong 3 was owned by the landlord whose ownership had been transferred to land capitalists. This change of land ownership met with little resistance from the farmer who rented the land because they were not entitled to the land and were deprived of any bargaining power. More essentially, the capitalists exploited the weakness and sluggishness in urban planning, making the area within Klong 3 transform into an urban community rapidly. Regarding the power interaction within Klong 3, since the area was developed into a peri-urban area, the local government, the group of capitalists and the local population engaged in the symbiotic and conflicting relationships that manifested through the continued struggles over land ownership. The power interaction between the local government and the capitalists can be described as a mutually beneficial relationship. Both sides seek to urbanize the area that caters to capital accumulation through the local government’s taxation of local population. Nevertheless, the relationship between the capitalists and the local population is rife with conflicts. The capitalists exploited the land by expelling the indigenous population out of the area and sought to accumulate capital without taking into account the people’s quality of life, creating burdens and difficulties to the local government and population as a whole.

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References

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