The Social Sciences

Year: 2016
Volume: 11
Issue: 3
Page No. 242 - 248

‘Sustainable Livelihoods Framework’ Just Survival Not Sustainable: A Case Study of the Returning Thai Diaspora in Thai Society

Authors : Monchai Phongsiri, Maniemai Thongyou and Yaowalak Apichatvullop

Abstract: This study is intended to debate the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework (SLF) developed by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom. Qualitative data were collected via in-depth interviews, observations and small group discussions. Key informants consisted of household heads of the Returning Thai Diaspora (RTD) as well as senior members of the RTD who are familiar with the history of the diasporic movement, the mainstay of the RTD network, household heads of ordinary Thai families who live in the same community and both government and non-government officers involved in the research areas in Prachuap Khiri Khan and Ranong Provinces. The study found that for the RTD, five kinds of capital under SLF are ‘limitations’ rather than ‘opportunities’ in formulating their livelihood strategies because lack of rights and power is a major problem for those who do not have citizenship. Rights and power are part of the political capital needed by the RTD to enable them to transform assets/resources into various kinds of capital for their livelihood strategies. Therefore, political capital is crucial for the RTD to have access and command over their livelihood capital/assets according to the concept of ‘capability’ that is integrated in SLF. Reducing the limitations of livelihood capital accessibility in Thai society allows some of the RTD to survive but they still cannot achieve the ultimate SLF goal of sustainability. However, when a group of RTD worked together as a network to restore Thai nationality, they createda process of political capital accumulation that enabled their livelihood strategies to achieve the ultimate goal of ‘sustainability’ and the negotiation through which their human rights in Thai society were recognized.

How to cite this article:

Monchai Phongsiri, Maniemai Thongyou and Yaowalak Apichatvullop, 2016. ‘Sustainable Livelihoods Framework’ Just Survival Not Sustainable: A Case Study of the Returning Thai Diaspora in Thai Society. The Social Sciences, 11: 242-248.

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