Beyond Democracy in Cambodia

Political Reconstruction in a Post-Conflict Society

edited by Joakim Öjendal & Mona Lilja

  • Published:
  • Pages: 320 pp.
  • Series number: 12
Available from NIAS Press worldwide

The peace agreement, major reconstruction efforts and UN-supervised elections that followed Cambodia’s dark period of civil war and genocide have not brought the democracy and reconstruction that was hoped for. Exploring the tension between the needs of reconstruction and democratization and the extent that the current political order has succeeded in managing this situation, this volume is the first study to assess the post-conflict democratization and reconstruction process in Cambodia in a systematic and in-depth empirical way.

For more than three decades Cambodia lived with civil war and genocide. After the peace agreement, major reconstruction efforts and UN-supervised elections in the 1990s, it was hoped that the ravages of the past could be repaired. Instead, one political crisis after another has ensued. And to the extent that some political stability has emerged, seemingly this has been won at the expense of democracy. Moreover, reconstruction efforts appear to be at odds with processes of liberal democratization.

This volume (written by a broad mix of Khmer and non-Khmer researchers) is the first study to assess the post-conflict democratization process in Cambodia in a systematic and in-depth empirical way. In going beyond a one-dimensional view of democracy, the full complexity of this process is illuminated. Not only does the volume focus on the successes and failures of Cambodia’s political elite but also it looks beyond Cambodia, assessing the extent to which the globally applied post-conflict strategy of intervention followed by early elections, hoping for rapid democratization, is sustainable and progressive.


Joakim Ojendal is Professor of Peace and Development Research at Gothenburg University in Sweden. He has written extensively on Asia, and in particular on democratization in Cambodia. Currently he leads several research projects, including on post-conflict reconstruction and democratic decentralization, and engages in policy work in this area. Among his earlier works is Southeast Asian Responses to Globalization, published by NIAS Press in 2004.

Mona Lilja teaches at Gothenburg University’s School of Global Studies. She has previously written on female political leadership strategies in democratization and development processes, with her monograph Power, Resistance and Women Politicians in Cambodia published by NIAS Press earlier in 2008. Currently she is engaged in a research project on ’hybrid democratization’ in Cambodia.

by Alexandra Amling
From journal:
ASIEN, the German Journal of Contemporary Asia, No. 125, October 2012

"Es geht den Autoren allerdings nicht um Blossstellung und Verbesserungsvorschläge, sondern um einen durch Fallstudien belegte Bestandaufnahme.

"Es geht den Autoren allerdings nicht um Blossstellung und Verbesserungsvorschläge, sondern um einen durch Fallstudien belegte Bestandaufnahme.

Das Spektrum dieser Fallstudien reicht von Einfluss des Buddhismus auf gesellschaftliche Strukturen über die Wiederherstellung lokal-politischer Legitimität bis hin zu Dezentralisierungsreformen, der Rolle der Frauen in der Politik, den ECCC (Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia) und dem negativen Einfluss ausländischer Geldgeber auf die Wirtschaft Kambodschas.

Der Leser wird mit einem Flut an Informationen und Daten konfrontiert, die es ihm ermöglicht seine eigene Meinung zu bilden und über das Gelesene zu reflektieren.

Das Buch bietet eine interessante Einführung in das gegenwärtige Kambodscha und eröffnet neue Perspektiven sowie Anregungen zu Forschungsprojekten. Allein deswegen ist das Buch schon empfehlenswert."

by Ian Harris
From journal:
Aséanie 27, 2011.

"This book is a significant contribution to the study of contemporary Cambodian political culture.

"This book is a significant contribution to the study of contemporary Cambodian political culture.

… worth consulting for the richness of its bibliographic resources alone.  I would recommend Beyond Democracy in Cambodia to any reader wishing to gain a better understanding of post-conflict resolution whether in Southeast Asia or elsewhere, and the editors are to be congratulated accordingly."

×
×

Cart