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Legitimating Leadership in Southern Thai Schools: Considering Local Responses to Neoliberal Reforms

By Brendan Maxcy, Ekkarin Sungtong, Thu Suong and Thi Nguyen


Mounting religious-ethnic tensions and broad-scale reform have precipitated reconsideration of the mission, traditions, operations and institutional positions of government schools in southern Thailand. The authors report on a study of a dozen schools located in four border provinces adapting to national reforms and regional unrest. The authors find emergent strategies conditioned by reform policies whereby school leaders seek to reorganize, reestablish, and reposition schools in their respective communities. Through a critical analysis of leadership, the authors explore the interplay of local strategies and broader neoliberal reform logics oriented to relegitimate the Thai state. Drawing on work by Robertson and Dale, and James Conroy, we discuss near-term displacement of legitimation crises through neoliberal localization that may prove problematic over the long haul

Topics: Islamic schooling, school-community relations, Neoliberalism
Year: 2010
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