Cambodia's Economic Transformation

edited by Caroline Hughes and Kheang Un

336 pp.,
NIAS Studies in Asian Topics # 49
Available from NIAS Press worldwide.

Hardback - 2011, Available
ISBN 978 87 7694 082 9, £50.00
Paperback - 2011, Available
ISBN 978 87 7694 083 6, £18.99

  • First book on the transformations wrought by Cambodia’s 2002–08 economic boom.
  • Explores the impact of the boom on governance, economic structure, and opportunities for the poor.
  • Provide new insights into the relationship between economic growth and political stability in post-conflict societies.
  • Cross-disciplinary study involving Cambodian and foreign scholars.

From 2002, Cambodia underwent a visible economic transformation driven largely by such external factors as increased Chinese demand for primary commodities and a strong international demand for Cambodian garments. Apart from dramatic rates of economic growth, the boom involved the disappearance of forests and the decline of logging, the inflow of Chinese investment and the rise of indigenous capital, and the increased significance of remittances from garment workers and labour migrants. In addition, the impact of government policies on land registration and concessions transformed relations of production and, with them, the socio-economic and political environment in rural and urban Cambodia.

Cambodia’s Economic Transformation examines the political economy of the Cambodian boom, analysing the changing structure of the economy, the relationship between state and market, and outcomes for the poor. Not least, it focuses the role of the state in facilitating and controlling the market, and the way that this has affected the life chances of the poor. In so doing, it situates Cambodian experience within key debates in the wider political economy of Eastern Asia, scrutinizing the relationship between class formation, structures of governance and resource distribution. The analysis gives rise to a deeper understanding of the nature of the market as it has emerged in Cambodia over the past decade, and the prospects for how much the poor might be able to constrain tendencies towards a disproportionate accumulation of wealth by the Cambodian elite.

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