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The Political Economy of Land and Housing for the Urban Poor in Bangkok: A Case Study in Klong Toey and Wat Chonglom Settlement

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Title:The Political Economy of Land and Housing for the Urban Poor in Bangkok: A Case Study in Klong Toey and Wat Chonglom Settlement
Authors:Sahachaisaeree, Nopadon
Contributors:Goss, Jonathon (advisor)
Geography and Environment (department)
low-income housing
housing policy
land use
show 5 moreurban poor
urban policy
area planning and development
urban environment
show less
Date Issued:May 1995
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 1995]
Abstract:This dissertation investigates, within the framework of mode of production, how the urban poor struggle to obtain and maintain access to land and housing in a Third World city. It examines how the urban poor interact with the state over urban space, and how they apply survival strategies to endure in various urban settings. It seeks to identify the importance of different forms of land allocation--the market form, the state form, and the popular form--which distinctively determine the urban poor's life chances, an issue frequently ignored by policy makers. This research also explores the related issue of property regime, that define rules of access in each form of land allocation. An array of actors, such as the state representatives, political personalities, and local leaders were key informants in the research.
Five study areas were chosen which combine overlapping characteristics of two or more forms of land allocation. This research is based on eighteen months of field research and the basic data were obtained from structured questionnaire survey. Additional information was gathered from informal interviews with government officials, local personalities, community leaders, and members of the community. Descriptive statistics and case study illustrations are used to elucidate the linkages between variables and their underlying explanations.
This study demonstrates that, at the macro level, the domination of the market form of land allocation is enhanced by state development strategies. A historical analysis of housing policy and the political development reveals a pattern of land transformation from the communal form to market form. The two major forms of political regimes--the dictatorial and democratic--responded differently toward the needs of urban low income housing. Most housing agencies established during military dictatorial regime failed to serve the lowest income groups because the state responded to housing issue according to political motivation rather than needs of the urban poor. On the other hand, the National Housing Authority founded during a democratic regime lacked a consistent policy and ran short of funding.
At the community level, this research found that the life chances of the urban poor are partly determined by the circumstances surrounding the distinctive forms of land allocation. Intervention by the local state also tends to magnify the rate of penetration of the market form of land allocation and further differentiate the physical conditions of the communities. Each form of land allocation tends to support different types of household enterprise and certain type of tenancies. The level of individualism, financial need, and physical settings, which are correlated with the form of land allocation, also govern the social aspects of survival strategies of dwellers. However, the picture is rather complex due to the overlapping characteristics of the multiple forms of land allocation in each study area, and the complicated rules of access.
Politically, this research found three major powers--the state, NGOs, and local personalities--interacting within the squatter settlement in response to the political demands of the squatters. These three powers usually compete with each other to assist the community in order to achieve their goals and to gain popularity. The poorest strata of squatters who cannot legally obtain services resort to illegal privileges or indirect funding from politicians. The success of grass roots organizations lies in factors such as the nature of leaders, the appearance of tenure security which is governed by the attitude of land owners, and the source of funding.
Description:PhD University of Hawaii at Manoa 1995
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 346–360).
Pages/Duration:xvii, 360 leaves, bound : illustrations, maps ; 29 cm
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Geography

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