Since c1970, Thailand's position in the world has changed from potential communist 'domino' to one of the world's most dynamic economies. The confrontational politics of the 1970s, with the student-led revolution of 1973 and the bloody right-wing backlash In 1976, were replaced by a new consensus in the following decade, A concerted export drive sparked off a tremendous economic boom during the 1980s and early 1990s. Tourism also expanded rapidly, and is now the single largest foreign exchange earner. Economic Success has, however, been at a cost. Each year Bangkok has become more chaotic in the face of increased traffic and an Unprecedented building boom, and nationally there has been a widening gap between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots'. Moreover, Thailand is experiencing a potential AIDS time-bomb and serious environmental degradation. Despite Such pressures, and the sudden economic crisis of mid-1997, Thailand has enjoyed an enviable record of stability in recent years.