The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between accounting and the early roots of the nation‐state in mid nineteenth‐century Siam/Thailand.
First, the paper examines the theoretical inter‐relationship between accounting and nationalism. Second, it relates this theoretical understanding to a study of the changing concepts, methods and structures of indigenous Siamese accounting at a time of transition when foreign mercantile influence was beginning to have an impact on the mid nineteenth‐century Siamese economy. Third, the paper analyses how these accounting structures and practices came to constitute a socio‐political instrument, which contributed to the administrative development of a Siamese dynastic state by the mid nineteenth‐century. Finally, the paper studies the ways in which this dynastic state began to promote national characteristics through the use of its accounts to create a sense of Siamese cultural identity.
The findings emphasise the important role of accounting in the construction of political and national identity.
This inter‐disciplinary paper highlights a general neglect in the accounting literature of the instrumental role of accounting in nation‐state formation as well as offering a re‐interpretation of Thai historiography from an accounting viewpoint. Moreover as an example of alternative accounting practice, this paper provides an analysis of indigenous accounting methods and structures in mid nineteenth‐century Siam/Thailand at the point when they were becoming increasingly influenced by foreign mercantilism.
Constable, P. and Kuasirikun, N. (2007), "Accounting for the nation‐state in mid nineteenth‐century Thailand", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 574-619. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513570710762593Download as .RIS
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