I am pleased to announce that the following paper has been accepted for publication by editors of the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography:
Maneepong, Chuthatip and John Walsh, “After the 1997 Financial Crisis: New Vendor Cohorts and Behaviors in Bangkok: Interactions with Officialdom and Policy Implications.”
The 1997 financial crisis seriously damaged the Thai economy. Rather than return to provincial homes, many retrenched workers remained in Bangkok putting their training and business experience to use, establishing informal sector businesses, offering new products, such as own-brand designer goods and using more formal business models. By contrast, the traditional “old generation” street vendors specialized in food, primarily selling to low-income customers, and focused on volume. The hypothesis was that the “new generation” street vendors, given their greater sophistication, would be more organized, strong advocates of vendors rights, and more prone to conflict with authorities. However, research based on interviews with “new” and “old generation” vendors led to the opposite conclusion. The “new generation” vendors are adaptive to location and business strategies and prefer a low profile in dealing with officialdom. By contrast, the “old generation” vendors are more tied to particular spaces and better organized; they expect more from government and this often results in conflict with authorities. This raises policy questions concerning whether urban public spaces should reject or retain street vending business, how to respond to its needs and conditions and what role bureaucratic bodies should play in relation to urban planning and policies towards street vendors.
Keyowords: Bangkok, city governance, street vending, urban development
I will be sure to provide details of final publication date as and when these become available.