The Historical Manifestation of the ‘Global Britain’ narrative in Siam (1855-1925)


  • Arunrat Jinda Public Administration, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Valaya Alongkorn Rajabhat University under the Royal Patronage, Thailand.



Global Britain, Siam, The British Empire, Informal Empire



         British foreign policy has consistently been characterized by a global approach, mainly due to its imperial legacy. Britain had sought to maintain its influence with a global approach since the nineteenth century. Siam (the former name of Thailand) was part of Britain’s informal empire after the signing of the Bowring Treaty in 1855. The impact of this relationship was that Britain had economic dominance in Siam and became closely associated with Siam’s ruling elites, establishing elite networks to influence Siam’s cultural and social development. The relationship between Britain and Siam could thus be viewed as ‘mutually advantageous’. It could be argued that Britain influenced policy in Siam was very much a part of the British Empire. Although Britain supported nominal independence in Siam, the government expected exploitation and dominance within economic dependency and elite networks. The article, which draws on the approach of Jim Glassman was published in 1999 which explains how particular factions of capitalist classes could end up sharing evident interests in specific state policies across national boundaries, using Siam as a case study. This concept contributes to the current prevalence of neoliberal perceptions among several Third World officials. The article argues that Britain employed a model of ‘informal empire’ in Siam within the ‘Global Britain’ narrative during the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. Under the framework of the internationalisation of the state grows from classes and other social forces as working through both foreign and domestic markets, politics and economics. It can be said that the relationship between Britain and local elites in Siam was a legacy of the empire.


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How to Cite

Jinda, A. (2023). The Historical Manifestation of the ‘Global Britain’ narrative in Siam (1855-1925). วารสารการบริหารการปกครองและนวัตกรรมท้องถิ่น, 7(2), 359–376.