ISBN: 9788776940430

Beyond Democracy in Cambodia: Political Reconstruction in a Post-Conflict Society


Edited by Joakim Öjendal and Mona Lilja

September 2009, 320 pp, 15x23 cm

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.

About the Editors

Joakim Öjendal 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 in 2008. Currently she is engaged in a research project on ‘hybrid democratization’ in Cambodia.


Cambodia | democratization | politics | post-conflict reconstruction | political leadership | transitional societies

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