1. Proposed Title & Editor Information Dr. Katherine Brickell, PhD Senior Lecturer Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London London, United Kingdom [email protected]
Dr. Simon Springer, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Geography, University of Victoria Victoria, BC, Canada [email protected]
2. Description & Rationale The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Cambodia offers a comprehensive overview of the current situation in the country, providing a broad coverage of social, cultural, political and economic developments within both rural and urban contexts during the last decade. Cambodia has undergone a rapid transformation in the years since the UNTAC mission of the early 1990s, and it seems necessary to take stock and explore the dimensions of these significant shifts in a country now garnering global media attention. From the violence of its (still) disputed 2013 elections, the protests of garment workers calling for higher pay on the global assembly line, to the widespread reality of forced evictions attracting international condemnation, it is an apposite time for an essential guide to examine these and other injustices which mark out the contemporary landscape of Cambodia. With proposed contributions from over 35 leading Cambodia scholars, the Handbook of Contemporary Cambodia will offer a systematic overview of Cambodia’s political-economic tensions, rural developments, urban conflicts, social processes and cultural currents. Numerous books have been published on Cambodia, including important edited volumes, but none of these contributions have attempted to bring the diverse scope and wide-ranging coverage that we plan to incorporate here. Most of the edited volumes and monographs on Cambodia that have been published to date have a very specific thematic focus, either on particular empirical case studies, or alternatively attempt to wrestle with a specific historical concern. In contrast, the Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Cambodia aims to provide the first comprehensive overview of the state of the field today. With authors working at institutions spread across the globe, the Handbook of Contemporary Cambodia will offer a thorough examination of how contemporary Cambodia is understood by social scientists working from diverse disciplinary backgrounds. Our goal is to advance the established and emergent debates in a field of study that has changed rapidly in the past ten years. In short, the Handbook of Contemporary Cambodia will intervene by both outlining how understandings of sociocultural and political economic processes in Cambodia have evolved and by exploring new research agendas that we hope will inform policy making and activism. The Handbook of Contemporary Cambodia will include a substantive introductory chapter and six main thematic sections. By presenting a comprehensive examination of the field, this edited volume will serve as an invaluable resource for undergraduates, grad students, and professional scholars alike. We envision the book as both a teaching guide and a reference for Asian studies scholars, human geographers, anthropologists, sociologists,
political scientists, and critical economists. 3. Timeline for Delivery of Completed Manuscript This is large-scale project that will take considerable time to pull together based on the number of potential authors involved, securing commitments from them to write chapters, and the typical delays that come with attempting to get very busy people to adhere to deadlines. Contingent upon our efficiency in recruiting authors, we expect that May 2015 would be an approximate timeline of when we would expect individual chapters (5,000-6000 words) to be returned to us for comments prior to external peer review. We anticipate that the final volume will be submitted for review in early 2016. 4. Table of Contents Introduction – Katherine Brickell and Simon Springer POLITICAL ECONOMIC TENSIONS 1. The Contemporary Geopolitics of Cambodia: Alignments in Regional and Global Contexts - Sok Udom Deth (Zaman University, Phnom Penh, Cambodia [email protected]
) The late British scholar Michael Leifer once noted: “Ever since the decline of the ancient Khmer Empire, geography has combined with politics to shape the fortunes of the Cambodian state” (Leifer, 1975: 531). Similarly, British journalist William Shawcross also reckoned that: “Cambodia is a victim of its geography and of its political underdevelopment” (Shawcross, 1994: 5). During the 18th and first half of the 19th centuries, the once powerful Khmer Empire had been reduced to being a (divided) vassal state subject to the influences of new regional powers: Siam (Thailand) and Dai Viet (Vietnam). After independence from France in 1953, Cambodia enjoyed a shortlived period of peace and stability. The Vietnam War of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the Third Indochina War (1979-1989) both had major impacts on Cambodia. Thanks to her geography, it was virtually inevitable for Cambodia to be drawn into the conflicts and suffer from their spill-over and direct impacts. Since the end of the Cold War, Cambodia has been reintegrated into different regional and global economic and political communities, notable among which were the accession into ASEAN in 1999 and the WTO in 2004. These processes of regionalization and globalization have certainly contributed to the changing of geopolitical landscapes of Cambodia during the last two decades. This chapter seeks to discuss the nature and extent of these geopolitical changes. Specifically, the chapter examines Cambodia’s transformed relations with neighboring countries (as well as remaining problems) in the post-Cold War era as fellow ASEAN member states. Additionally, the chapter discusses Cambodia’s current geopolitical position in the context of rising China and the supposed U.S.’s pivot to Asia and proposes the way forward for Cambodia’s advancement of interests in domestic and global affairs.
2. The Politics of Aid - Sophal Ear (US Naval Postgraduate School [email protected]
) Despite rapid economic growth since 2000, Cambodia remains dependent on foreign aid, with ever increasing commitments from donors—now exceeding $1 billion per year. What is the impact of this aid on Cambodia’s development, taxation, and governance outcomes? While some human development indicators have improved, donors like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have been accused of facilitating land grabs through well-intentioned development projects hijacked by Cambodian authorities. Tax and domestic revenues languish as proportion of GDP, while corruption was recently estimated at 10% of GDP, circa $1.7 billion this year. Moreover, China’s largess and influence on Cambodia has only grown during this time—diluting the influence of traditional Western donors who advocate for good governance and (at least) pay lip service to human rights. The prospects for reform, despite the outcome of the July 2013 election, remain dim given the politics of aid and the inertia of donors. 3. Law, Human Rights and Peacebuilding in Cambodia – Catherine Morris (University of Victoria - [email protected]
) After the Paris Peace Accords in 1991, the watchword in Cambodia became “peacebuilding.” This term emphasized that peace efforts must go beyond crisis intervention towards development of sustainable governance structures and institutions, including legal systems. Peacebuilding initiatives by the UN and foreign donors aimed to transform Cambodia’s “culture of impunity” into a “culture of human rights” and the “rule of law.” Cambodia’s colonial civil law system and traditional dispute resolution mechanisms had been completely eradicated during the Pol Pot regime. The decade of Vietnamese rule in the 1980s entrenched centralized socialist-style governance and legal institutions. During the 1990s, the emphasis was on development of liberal democracy, constitution and legal system. This chapter discusses the results of more than two decades of liberal legal development efforts in Cambodia in discussing Cambodia’s constitution, international human rights framework, the judiciary, legal profession and civil society organizations. 4. Tribunal - Rachel Hughes (University of Melbourne - [email protected]
) and Sorya Sim (ECCC Analyst Team Leader) This chapter introduces Cambodia’s international criminal tribunal, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), also known as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. It sets out the formal legal character, mandate and functioning of the ECCC as a United Nations-supported tribunal that brings both Cambodian and international law to bear upon the alleged crimes of Khmer Rouge rule between 1975 and 1979. This chapter also explores the political tensions of the tribunal’s negotiation and progress over the years 1997 to 2014. In this way, the tribunal is considered to be a socio-political event with multiple national and international influences and repercussions. The public information and legal outreach program of the tribunal is discussed as an important socio-legal innovation that is best understood in the dual contexts of justice initiatives in Cambodia and tribunal outreach work internationally. Finally, the chapter turns to
reparations, a widely debated issue with a complex relationship to the ECCC’s trial-based retributive justice. 5. Community Organization in Cambodia - Louise Coventry (CORD, Phnom Penh, Cambodia - [email protected]
) Mainstream (Western) understandings of civil society have low relevance and applicability to Cambodia; Cambodian civil society – if it is to be called that – is embedded in a complex political and socio-historical context. This chapter explores some key social-political-economic tensions relevant to civil society in Cambodia. It examines the relationship between civil society and (neo)patrimonialism, the sponsorship of non-government organisations (NGOs) by international aid organisations and the concurrent emergence of NGOs as a proxy for broader civil society. The enabling – or disabling – environment for civil society in Cambodia and contemporary efforts to secure the legitimacy of Cambodian civil society, especially NGOs, are also discussed. With current (donor-driven) initiatives to strengthen civil society in Cambodia generally being poorly conceived – ideologically driven rather than culturally nuanced – and power-blind and with occasional government crackdowns on NGOs betraying the government’s rhetoric of partnership with NGOs, the future for a progressive, independent Cambodian civil society is at stake. The chapter concludes with some suggestions about how civil society may evolve, in light of recent developments in statecivil society and donor-civil society relations. 6. Non-Governmental Organizations: Serving the Poor as Agents in the Cage? Sivhouch Ou (University of Guelph - [email protected]
) Over the last few decades, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have been tasked by the Northern donor community to obtain two objectives: 1) delivering services to the poor and 2) promoting good governance in the Global South. NGOs in Cambodia, after some 20 years, have produced uneven outcome - tangible in terms of service delivery but limited concerning governance enhancement. This chapter resolves this puzzle, arguing that NGOs’ performance is defined in a cage like metaphor. First, NGOs almost entirely depend on external resources and thus act in a broad sense as agents following donors’ agendas. Until recently, donors in the country had allocated their budget more to service delivery and less on governance such as empowerment and participation. Second, the government, a former communist one, functions with the underlying informal neopatrimonial system and perceives governance principles (strengthened by NGOs) challenging their power base. Thus it sets the boundary NGOs could stretch as well. Third, the NGO staff themselves have barely experienced governance concepts but are caught in a deep rooted culture of patronage, autocracy and hierarchy, and poor economic status after years of wars. Given the three sets of constraining factors, NGOs strike a balance, to please their donors, not to upset the government fiercely, and not to internally stretch their own culture too far, so as to secure their own employment, interests and organizational survival. Nevertheless, since the mid - 2000s, NGOs have fanned out to the countryside, having established modern community based organizations in almost every village. Donors have increasingly emphasized governance agenda, for instance, Rights - Based Approach to development. The chapter closes off,
suggesting that it remains to be seen if NGOs would prove more effective, than in the past, in achieving governance objective. 7. Micro-saturated: The Promises and Pitfalls of Microfinance as a Development Solution - Maryann Bylander (Lewis & Clark College - [email protected]
) This chapter outlines the entrée, growth, and saturation of microfinance over the past two decades in Cambodia, and then explores the meanings and uses of microcredit among borrowers. Drawing on statistics from the Cambodia Microfinance Association and the Cambodia Socio-Economic Survey, it first outlines the growth of microfinance and key trends in the sector. These trends are then linked to the stated goals and expectations of microfinance as a development solution. The final section draws on research from various sources (including my own) to discuss key disconnects between the idea of microfinance as a development solution and the lived realities of what microfinance means and does in the Cambodian context. Though the chapter references household survey data from rural Siem Reap (currently being collected), it primarily draws on research produced by the microfinance sector and broader trends that have been documented by NGOs and researchers. In particular, my findings focus on the use of microcredit (rather than other products offered by MFIs) and suggest three key disconnects between the rhetoric and reality of micro-lending. First, while MFIs assert that loans are used for and repaid via microenterprise, data suggests that loans are primarily used for a variety of non-productive purposes, and are frequently repaid through wage labor both within and outside the country. Second, whereas MFIs assert that microcredit offers a substitute to high-interest informal loans, in practice formal credit is often used alongside informal credit and often drives the need for higherinterest informal borrowing. Third, whereas loans are argued to offer proactive ways of livelihood improvement, in practice borrowers often struggle to repay loans, and note that debt can substantively heighten vulnerabilities. These findings challenge the primary goals and stated expectations of microcredit, and suggest that the need for a rethinking of microcredit as a development strategy in the Cambodian context. 8. From Chicken Wing Receipts to Students in Soldiers’ Uniforms: Land Titling and Property in Post-Conflict Cambodia - Robin Biddulph (University of Gothenburg - [email protected]
) Although Cambodia was officially communist during the People’s Republic of Kampuchea period, the political leadership fostered market relations both by turning a blind eye to private economic activity in the 1980s, and then in 1989 by introducing new legislation and attempting a mass land titling campaign. This attempt at titling failed largely because of a lack of administrative capacity. Fifteen years later, having passed a new land law and recruited international technical and financial assistance, a second programme of mass titling was undertaken under the Kingdom of Cambodia. This time, with policies, laws and detailed implementation guidelines for participatory survey methods issued by the Ministry, cascade training and incentive-based payments for officials and a computerized record system, well over a million titles have been issued to the satisfaction of the recipients.However, there was more to the Cambodia state postconflict than a switch to market institutions and a technical upgrading. Political security has been underpinned by elite accumulation. Throughout the past two decades the
senior Cambodian leadership has railed against land-grabbing, while at the same time itself being implicated in the deals which have evicted people from land both in urban and rural areas. The case of Boeung Kak lake came to symbolize the clash between the apparently technical activities of surveying and titling, and the politics of land-based investments and elite accumulation. This chapter places the land-reform story in the context of Cambodia’s Machiavellian, neo-patrimonial politics and the attempts of international development assistance to pretend that those politics can be ignored. RURAL DEVELOPMENTS 9. Under Pressure: The Changing Cambodian Risk Profile and the Social Responses it Entails – Laurie Parsons (King’s College London) Cambodia today is a country in the throes of a persistent and perhaps degenerative environmental crisis. Successive years of floods and droughts, alternating or in tandem, between 2000 and 2003 set the tone for the new millennium and more than a decade later this theme shows little sign of abating. Every year the nation’s crops are beset, to a greater or lesser extent, by an increasingly uncertain climate, so that rice farming has begun to resemble more of a rich man’s gamble than a poor man’s staple. Nevertheless, despite a growing awareness of the ecological pressures faced by rural Cambodians in particular, how they circumvent such difficulties has received limited attention. Certainly, the “safety valves” of debt and migration are increasingly important means of mitigating environmental risk. There can be little doubt that climate pressures have contributed in part to the booming uptake of both. However, as this chapter will highlight, the relationship between pressure and response is not a direct one, but is mediated by the social relations in which those affected participate and vice versa. In response to various modalities of risk, linkages to patrons and peers are constructed or abandoned; and the prevalence of “traditional” modes of association such as informal loans and labour sharing rises and falls. In this way, the economic and natural environment shape patterns of association in Cambodia’s rural villages. 10. Sustainability in concept and practice in the contemporary rural development in Cambodia - Sokphea Young (University of Melbourne [email protected]
) This chapter seeks to define concept, practice, and challenges of sustainability in rural development in Cambodia. The chapter argues that the current concept and practice for sustainability in the contemporary development practice in Cambodia remains complex and challenge. This is due to different development practitioners, and government agencies practically perceive different meaning of sustainability. As a result, the current practices have fractional contribution to sustainability in rural area. This is claimed on the ground that, imbalance between social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability is prevailing in rural area. For instance, economic becomes a prominent aspect of government’s development approach, whereas social, and environmental aspects are left behind. Therefore, efforts made by a number of the development practitioners, especially the NGOs, and international development agencies, to ensure the sustainability in rural area, are destroyed and exploited by capitalist development
approach, such as large-scale foreign investment projects, and by Cambodian politiccommercial elites. Recently, new approaches, including but not limited to climate change, economic justice, community empowerment, rights based approach (right to resources), have been emerged and practiced, and to a certain degree, to ensure sustainability. 11. Exploring Rural Livelihoods Through the Lens of Coastal Fishers - Melissa Marschke (University of Ottawa) Cambodia is a country with high aid dependency (nine percent of GDP), limited state capacity, high levels of poverty (20 percent), and a largely (nearly 80 percent) rural population that remains dependent on natural resources. Fish continue to be a primary source protein for rural Cambodians, even with stock declines, climate variation and overall societal shifts. Rural livelihoods are dynamic, complex and, often times, unpredictable since household goals, interests, resources and means are constantly being reassessed in light of ongoing change. Classic agrarian questions a la Bernstein (2010) of: who owns what, who does what, who gets what and what do they do with it? are of central importance to understanding rural livelihood dynamics. This chapter begins by providing an overview of rural Cambodia, paying particular attention to the agriculture and fisheries sector, changes in land use, and key human development indicators. I then ground this analysis through focusing on the livelihood trajectories found in one resource-dependent fishing village through tracking the stresses that people endure in relation to livelihood opportunities within the village and beyond over a sixteen-year period (1998–2014). I observe that poorer households need to diversify their income sources beyond resource-based livelihoods, often resulting in individual or householdlevel migration. 12. Environmental Governance in Cambodia - Sarah Milne (Australia National University - [email protected]
) The management of land and natural resources in Cambodia is of vital importance for: the state and its capacity to generate revenue; the millions of rural villagers who depend upon farming, forest products, and fishing for their livelihoods; and the intrinsic value of the country’s unique biodiversity and ecosystem services, which are of global importance. Cambodia’s incredible natural bounty – including 70% forest cover until very recently and the iconic Tonle Sap Lake – has earned the country special status in Mainland Southeast Asia. For the international conservation movement, Cambodia has been a site of significant investment and activity since 2000. For example, with international support a vast protected area system, under the management of the Forestry Administration and the Ministry of Environment was created, covering over 20% of the country’s land area. But Cambodia’s natural resources have been as much of a curse as a blessing. For example, in spite of the development of new natural resource management institutions and laws, including the Forestry Law and the Protected Areas Law, the government has run a parallel system of sub-legal resource exploitation, which has undermined many of the country’s formal advances towards sound environmental governance. As a result, Cambodia's protected areas and the Forest Estate have been eaten out by illegal logging and land alienation. Indeed, the legal category of state public land, which should safeguard the status of forests and fisheries as publicly managed areas of national value, has in practice become a category for predatory resource
appropriation; a process whereby the state uses its power to issue private concessions for agri-business (e.g. ELCs) and fisheries (e.g. Lots), often to well-connected elites and/or through corrupt dealings. This has led to dispossession, environmental decline and turmoil across the country, with tens of thousands of rural Cambodians now being denied their customary land and resource rights. The result has been resistance and protest, which appear gradually to be re-shaping Cambodia’s political landscape. For example, PM Hun Sen announced the abolition of private fishing lots in 2012, and subsequently a ban on the issuing of new Economic Land Concessions. In turn, both of these interventions were accompanied by government-led efforts to restore resource rights and resolve conflicts, including commitments to Community Fisheries, Community Forestry, and the issuing of land titles for farmers. Whether these measures represent a real turning point in environmental governance, or not, remains to be seen. Evidence currently suggests that the CPP- regime will continue to preside over nontransparent and unsustainable modes of resource exploitation, which ultimately enable elite accumulation. 13. The Imperative of Good Water Management in Cambodia - Joakim Öjendal (University of Gothenburg - [email protected]
globalstudies.gu.se) and Bandeth Ros (CDRI) Cambodia is situated along the Mekong River and its tributaries, and Khmer culture has thrived from water driven rice growing and fisheries for millenniums. At critical historical periods, particular ways of dealing with water have been defining what kind of Cambodia that is being constructed. The Angkor empire was made possible through sophisticated mix of central control, and small-scale, efficient cultivation allowing a surplus to be generated from which the court could flourish, a high culture grow, and an army kept (Chandler 1983; Liere 1980). During the Khmer Rouge period the megalomaniac idea of transforming the entire agricultural landscape to one being criss-crossed by straight irrigation canals as a way to enhance rice yield and thereby generating wealth was an integrated part of the prevailing ideology, a major share of the massive casualties, as well as contributing to the downfall of the entire regime (Öjendal 2009). In contemporary Cambodia, the significance of water management may seem less dramatic, but it still carries a magnificent weight for livelihoods and sustainable poverty alleviation, as well as for regional politics and long-term modernization. The ‘big story’ on water in Cambodia regards the struggle for the benefits from the Mekong River system, and who will be allowed to harness its riches, be it hydropower generation or ecosystem services. The ‘small story’ on water management regards to what extent Cambodia can establish governance systems that allows the existing water to be utilized in an efficient, equitable and sustainable way. In both these ‘stories’, challenges are emerging as the Mekong cooperation crumbles on a regional level, and that water access domestically is getting increasingly scarce and progressively politicized, with both tributary and mainstream dams being planned/constructed and the sustainability of major fisheries (notably the Tonle sap system) jeopardized (Pittock et al. 2012). On the most local level, participatory water management are developing, but it is also facing difficulties as local and central level systems do not always harmonize, and very few resources are offered to support local water governance efforts (Bandeth 2010). It should be noted that these are major threats to people in Cambodia. Some 80 per cent of the population resides in rural areas, of which the mainstay relies on agriculture, fisheries and/or foraging for their survival.
The majority of the rural population is very close to absolute poverty, hence vulnerable to shifts in access to natural resources. Moreover, Cambodia is the fourth largest country in the world as regards inlands fishery, most of it stemming from the highly productive Tonle Sap system. This livelihood supplies some 75 per cent of the protein for the rural people as well as employs a vast number of people directly or indirectly. Cambodia is also the country in the region (together with Laos) with the lowest yield of rice per hectare, a fact often explained by the inadequate, unreliable, and inefficient supply of water, as well as poorly governed irrigation system. For the part of the population surviving from small-scale fishing and rice growing, proper water governance is the key to their survival and development. Water has gradually been receiving increasing attention, including some reforms and Master Plans. However, results are so far meagre and popular dis-satisfaction growing.This chapter will cover the above reviewed problematique through first taking note of the historical significance of water management in the attempts to create Cambodia, followed by an inventory of contemporary challenges. It will closely study some critical issue-areas, before it reviews which efforts have been made to address these. It will end on an analytical note, offering conclusions on what needs to be done to enhance efficiency and sustainability in the sector. 14. The Role of Agriculture in Rural Development in Cambodia – Phoak Kung (Mengly J. Quach University - [email protected]
) Cambodia’s economy remains heavily dependent on agriculture, which accounts for 31 percent of GDP and 70 percent of employment. Despite an unprecedented period of economic growth, the productivity of agriculture is growing very slowly. There seems to be policy bias against agriculture for the government believes that the development of industrial and services sector will eventually lead to rapid decline in poverty. However, Cambodia’s experience suggests that it is not always the case. In fact, the rise in agricultural sector will help Cambodia industrialize by releasing more labour from agriculture and increasing household income, allowing farmers to consume more industrial goods and machinery. This chapter will look at the binding constraints facing Cambodia’s farmers, and it also seeks to provide some practical solutions that could help further develop agriculture sector such as public irrigation system, microfinance institutions, land-labour ratio, market access for agricultural produce, and high yield and diversified crop. Since the price of agricultural produce is very volatile, this chapter will also study different kinds of safety net measures that can be used to protect poor farmers. Developing agriculture sectors, particularly improving the productivity of agriculture is perhaps the single most important step to reduce poverty in rural Cambodia. 15. Concessions in Cambodia: governing profits, extending state power and enclosing resources from the colonial era to the present - Jean-Christophe Diepart (University of Liège - [email protected]
) and Laura Schoenberger (York University) Concessions are much more than an instrument for the management of natural resources in Cambodia, and instead function as a central instrument in power and governance systems and are a critical way in which rural people experience and resist state power on the ground. Concessions have been re-tooled and re-shaped continuously
since their introduction during the French colonial period and this chapter traces the genealogy of concessions throughout post-colonial, post-socialist and post-war moments. Specifically, we show how forest and fisheries enclosures initiated by colonial rule were reshaped after independence, persisted, albeit partially, on the ground during the Khmer Rouge and socialist period and their re-emergence in the postcommunist/post-war of the nineties. We also give attention to the responses by local resource users to these enclosures and highlight moments of push-back and its outcomes. In contemporary Cambodia, characterized by weak regulating institutions, concessions have become a central instrument of sovereign power through patronagebased distributive practices. We make explicit the circumstances in which the forest concession system was dismantled at the end of the nineties and transformed in the context of the new land regulatory framework that emerged after the 2001 Land Law. In spite of the political economy underpinning concession management being unchanged, the system evolved into Economic Land Concession (ELC) for agro-industrial development paired with Social Land Concession (SLC), a land allocation mechanism to landless and land poor households. Against this background, we present the development of ELCs and SLCs from 2000 onwards. We provide an updated map with a detailed cartography and an institutional analysis of ELCs. In particular, we scrutinize the importance of the Southeast Asian rubber lobby and the rapid transformation of state protected areas by ELCs to consider overlapping state territorialization projects. It is against the large-scale and rapid changes unleashed by ELCs that we hold up the ineffectiveness of a redistributive land reform through social land concession.We further discuss contemporary issues revolving around economic land concession through three different angles: • We show how the under-estimation of opportunity costs of ELCs signals a profound under-valuation of peasant’s contribution to rural development and suggest that ELCs are a limited tool to promote rural development • We show how ELCs have contributed to the reconfiguration of land-labor relationships in the Cambodian uplands and have contributed (in convergence with other drivers) to land dispossession and increase in farm/non-farm wage labor • We show how ELCs have induced the emergence of very violent struggles for land played out across the country and how ELCs have concurrently fomented and emboldened various social movements We end the chapter with a discussion of the 2012 moratorium on the granting of ELCs and the sub-sequent implementation of the ‘Leopard’s skin strategy’. We argue that the land titling campaign under Order 01 has resulted in the fragmentation of upland territories while simultaneously reinforced the role of ELCs in the rural landscape of contemporary Cambodia. 16. Cambodia’s highlanders: Questions of ethnicity and indigeneity - Jonathan Padwe (University of Hawai’i, Manoa - [email protected]
) Among Southeast Asian states, Cambodia has one of the smallest populations of highland ethnic minorities - under 200,000 individuals, or around 1% of the national population. Even so, in recent decades a considerable literature in the anthropology and geography of Cambodia has explored the specific nature of the challenges faced by these
populations, and the challenges that they pose to the Cambodian state. Located largely in the country's northeast and southwest regions, these groups, including the Tampuan, Brao, Jarai, Bunong, Kuy, Poar, and others, share in common a distinction from lowland Khmer society based on language, religious practices, livelihood and environmental management practices, forms of social organization, and shared histories of margnalization. This chapter is organized around a series of critically important themes that have been at the center of scholarly work on highland people. These include: new research on the establishment of colonial and post-colonial forms of rule in the highlands; the experience of highlanders during the Indo-China Wars and the Khmer Rouge period and the lasting legacy of these experiences; processes of exclusion, disenfranchisement, and marginalization of highland peoples within the contemporary moment of economic transition; and the emergence of indigenous identity as a political resource within present-day Cambodian politics. URBAN CONFLICTS 17. Mega-projects and City Planning in Phnom Penh – Tom Percival (Emerging Markets Consulting - [email protected]
) The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of Phnom Penh’s development from the early 1990’s to the present day with a particular focus on the production of urban megaprojects. The first part of the chapter will outline urban development, planning and governance issues in contemporary Phnom Penh. During the last two decades, the urban economy has become increasingly integrated into global and regional economic systems, which has enabled the development of urban megaprojects. The second part of the chapter will examine how these projects are driven by networks of capital and urban development concepts from primarily within the East and Southeast Asian region. Thirdly, the chapter will critically discuss the role of the state in planning for urban megaprojects. 18. Street Vendors in Cambodia - Kyoko Kusakabe (Asian Institute of Technology [email protected]
) This chapter introduces the situation of public markets in Phnom Penh and at a border town of Poipet, and the historical emergence of retail traders and street vendors since the liberation from Khmer Rouge in 1979. Street vending has been a core occupation to support middle-class bureaucrat families while formal employment was almost nonexistent. The chapter will introduce various types of street vendors from professional vendors to survival vendors, and describe how street vending as an occupation influences the vendors’ intra-household gender relations, and how their relations with the authorities and their fellow vendors shape how they carry out and develop their business, as well as shape their own self-images. The chapter will be structured as follows: after a brief introduction of literature on street vending, it describes the historical development of street vending in Phnom Penh and the border town of Poipet. It will then articulate on how street vendors relate to authorities as well as with other vendors, and how the vending shapes their gender relations and their position in the
household and community. It will end with some notes on support for street vendors and securing their rights to place. 19. The Ties That Bind: Rural-Urban Linkages in the Cambodian Migration System – Sabina Lawreniuk (King’s College London - [email protected]
) Cambodia’s rapid economic growth over the past two decades has been associated with labour movement on an enormous scale. The oft cited figured of 400,000 garment workers from a population of 15 million gives some indication of the scale of a phenomenon, which nevertheless extends far beyond factory work alone. Cambodia’s urban centres are now characterised by extensive peripheral migrant enclaves, comprising numerous interlinked occupations. However, these are not permanent settlements. Their populations are in constant flux according to a dynamically structured household-based livelihoods system, which has incorporated, rather than being surpassed, by modern sector labour migration. This chapter will elucidate these ruralurban linkages and their implications for those involved. 20. The Phnom Penh metamorphosis: recent developments in real estate production and beyond - Gabriel Fauveaud (University of Montreal [email protected]
) Following other modest urban centers in Southeast Asia, Phnom Penh has changed rapidly since the late 1990s. Satellite cities, new condominiums and gated communities, new economic centers and residential areas, and great shopping malls have become the embodiment of the contemporary city transformation. The reorganization of the real estate activity generates new spatial and territorial articulations, and raises new questions about the becoming of the Cambodian capital city. Indeed, this urban metamorphosis is taking place in a context where the urban planning remains deficient, where an important part of the urban population suffers from land-grabbing’s, forced evictions and socioeconomic marginalization, and where private investments and the financial profitability supplant the production of an inclusive city. These new trends of urbanization do not simply signify that Phnom Penh is facing new social and economic challenges: it represents a radical transformation of the modes of production of urban spaces, which implies to reconsider the relationship between local actors (inhabitants, local authorities, private developers…) and their urban environment. By considering the economic, social, cultural, symbolic and spatial dimensions of the “real estate” production in Phnom Penh, this chapter aim to present some of the key issues raised by the transformation of the city since the 1990s. We will see that behind the “modernization” of the urban landscape, a renewed “urbanity” emerged, which represent an original and unpredictable response to the tragic and still recent history of a city that had to be reborn from ashes over thirty years ago. 21. Cambodia’s Labour Rights and Unions - Dennis Arnold (University of Amsterdam - [email protected]
) and Dae-oup Chang (SOAS, University of London - [email protected]
) Cambodia’s nascent trade union movement, and discussions on labor rights more generally, has been centered on the garment industry. Much domestic and international
attention has been paid to factory-level work conditions, yet the results are mixed. Industrial relations are highly conflictual and regularly violent, while the Cambodian state and employers maintain influence over many workers’ organizations. Alongside and largely emerging out of the garment workers’ organizations, trade unions and labor organizations have formed and are finding their feet in sectors and occupations including the informal economy, sex work, hotels, restaurants and services and construction. Despite such efforts, the majority of workers in Cambodia remain unorganized and lacking social entitlements for their labor. Thus, while power imbalances among workers and the state and/or employers clearly remain, workers and their organizations are becoming protagonists in struggles over social and political economic rights in Cambodia. 22. Forced Relocations and the Right to the City - Jessie Connell (University of Sydney - [email protected]
) Forced relocation is the process whereby an individual or community’s housing, assets and public infrastructure are rebuilt in another location. Relocations have increased in Cambodia for major infrastructure, hydropower, urban beautification and private development projects. Many people have also experienced the secondary impacts of development which make it untenable to continue living in their communities of origin, such as increased flooding and pollution. Weak tenure security arrangements exacerbate these conditions across the country. NGOs are influential actors in relocation disputes, documenting the poor treatment of displaced people, inadequate compensation and the absence of clear legal protections and processes. Relocations are not only an “urban” phenomenon, but are inherently bound up in Cambodia’s uneven economic development, efforts to attract foreign investment and ongoing struggles over access to natural resources and high value land. This chapter canvasses the main tensions and debates involved in forced relocations and situates these debates in terms of broader discussions emerging globally about the “right to the city”. 23. Phnom Penh’s neoliberal facade: hiding homelessness through arbitrary detention - Simon Springer (University of Victoria – [email protected]
) This chapter examines the plight of homeless peoples in Phnom Penh, Cambodia as a consequence of their enmeshment in a new logic of urban governance being effected by city officials and municipal planners. I argue that the widespread adoption of free market economics has produced conditions of globalized urban entrepreneurialism from which Phnom Penh is clearly not exempt. The (re)production of cultural spectacles, enterprise zones, waterfront development, and privatized forms of local governance all reflect the powerful disciplinary effects of interurban competition as cities aggressively engage in mutually destructive place-marketing policies. In this regard, I examine the ongoing pattern of violence utilized by municipal authorities against homeless peoples in Phnom Penh as part of a gentrifying process that the local government has dubbed a ‘beautification’ agenda. Of particular concern is how city officials have begun actively promoting the criminalization of the urban homeless and poor through arbitrary arrests and illegal detention, holding them in ‘re-education’ or ‘rehabilitation’ centres. I argue that such centers are not what they seem, where such euphemisms attempt to mask the
systemic abuse of marginalized peoples who are unwanted on the streets of the capital city as they are deemed to present a negative image for Phnom Penh. 24. Everyday Security in Phnom Penh: Capital, State Power and Geopolitics – James Sidaway (National University of Singapore - [email protected]
), Till Paasche (Soran University - [email protected]
), Chih Yuan Woon (National University of Singapore - [email protected]
), Piseth Keo (National University of Singapore [email protected]
) Cambodia has often been viewed through the lens of (in)security. Such a focus is intimately linked to the country’s recent history which includes violent conflicts between the Khmer Rouge regime and the occupying Vietnamese forces in the 1980s and a subsequent UN brokered peace agreement in the 1990s. This chapter moves beyond these ‘superpower’ geopolitics to understand how they are connected to grounded, everyday forms/moments of (in)security. Specifically by looking at the urban geography of security and conflict in Phnom Penh, we argue that developmental processes are entangled with Cambodia’s geopolitical pasts to produce a security landscape in which the emergence of a hybrid-security actor blurs the boundaries between state and private security. To flesh out these arguments, we examine everyday power relations on the streets in and around key sites in Phnom Penh that embody the confluence between money, power and security. In so doing, this chapter joins other critical accounts in exploring how this nexus of private capital and profit-driven state interests plays out at different scales, resulting in broader implications for understanding issues of security in the Cambodian context. SOCIAL PROCESSES 25. The contemporary landscape of education in Cambodia: Hybrid Spaces of the ‘Public’ and ‘Private’ – William Brehm (University of Hong Kong [email protected]
) What transformations in Cambodian educational space define the contemporary moment? A notable site of transformation is the tension between the privatization and publicization of education. This tension results from Cambodia’s attempt to rebuild national structures post-Khmer Rouge (what can be called publicization) with its attempt to negotiate neoliberal economic reforms brought about from liberal internationalism (what can be called privatization). This chapter details the various aspects of the privatization-publicization processes in education since the 2000s by drawing on a range of secondary data. Privatization is categorized into three different on-going processes in relation to the public: willful, forced, and reluctant privatization of public spaces. By looking across a broad spectrum of education activities, from higher education to elite private schools to shadow education, this chapter gives an overview of the contemporary trends in the provision and outputs of education. It is argued that the “private” and “public" education sectors are not separate entities but rather overlapping hybrids.
26. Healthcare in Cambodia: Between biomedicine and indigenous healing - Jan Oversen (University of Uppsala - [email protected]
) and Ing-Britt Trankell (University of Uppsala - [email protected]
) Ever since the introduction of modern medicine in Cambodia, two medical systems have coexisted, the ‘modern’ biomedical one and the indigenous healing practices. Although the two systems are based on very different medical world-views and entail very different therapeutic and social practices, the medical needs of the population have made the boundary between the two systems permeable in terms of seeking healthcare. People’s choice of healthcare is primarily directed by pragmatic considerations, primarily economic but also social and experiential, and it is common for people to shift between biomedical practitioners and indigenous healers, or to consult both simultaneously. Since Cambodia’s independence (with its initial biomedical hegemony), state authorities’ attitudes toward indigenous healing have shifted repeatedly; at present they are relatively favourable, which has led to a certain revival of indigenous practices, as well as to a certain commercialization in the field of indigenous healing. The chapter will provide a historically grounded overview of the field of healthcare and through ethnographic examples highlight some of the issues brought about by the coexistence of the two medical systems. 27. Violence Against Women - Katherine Brickell (Royal Holloway, University of London - [email protected]
) Positioning violence against women (VAW) as one of Cambodia’s foremost human rights abuses, the chapter is divided into three parts. Drawing on national-level statistical data, it begins by establishing key trends in the occurrence of different types of VAW in Cambodian society today (including physical, psychological, economic and sexual abuse). The analysis is tied into formal concern voiced by international development agencies (such as the United Nations) not only at the lack of progress made in reducing VAW in the domestic sphere, but also at the growing proliferation of violence in public space including acid attacks and government-sponsored brutality against female activists. Providing a more textual and embodied feel, women survivors’ accounts and experiences then form the second part. Lastly, the chapter turns to government and NGO efforts to address VAW with a particular emphasis on legal reform. 28. The ‘genderness’ of political representation in Cambodia: Resistance and (re)figurations of ‘men’ and ‘women’ - Mona Lilja (University of Gothenburg [email protected]
) Departing from previous research on gender issues in a Cambodian context (Brickell 2011, 2014, Derks 2008 and Lilja 2012, 2013), this chapter discusses women’s participation in local mobilisations and national politics in Cambodia, in order to display how gender equality is integrated in democracy building. Or in other words, women’s participating will be analysed through two complementary approaches; by investigating the “genderness” of social mobilisations and of national politics. Overall, the chapter will address gender equality and women’s empowerment in civil society processes, state of democracy assessments and democracy and development processes. Over and above this, resistance will be one of the key concepts of the chapter, used in order to reveal
processes of emancipation and social change. Only by negotiating the discourses of gender in Cambodia, space for women’s political participation may be created. Here, the chapter acknowledge that “men” and “women” are not universal, constant categories but open for (re)figurations. From a resistance perspective, this chapter, then, reveals various spaces for agency as well as strategies of resistance played out in the Cambodian context. 29. Sex Politics and Moral Panics - Heidi Hoefinger (National Development and Research Institutes, New York - [email protected]
), Pisey Ly, and Srun Srorn Cambodia has experienced rapid economic development and increased globalization in the last two decades, which have, in turn, influenced changes in sexual attitudes, practices and politics. Regular exposure to new technologies and social media, coupled with urbanization and economic developments have served to further challenge age-, sex- and gender-defined norms that continue to discourage gender diversity, same-sex relations, sexual exchange and commerce, and youth sexuality. Yet deeply embedded patriarchal structures that promote heterosexual male-privilege, the male/female gender binary, social morality, adherence to traditional values, and the sexual purity of women and young people continue to impede progress in the recognition of sexual and human rights of groups who do not conform to the status quo. Thus, the focus of this chapter is on the contemporary sociopolitical landscapes of sex and sexuality in Cambodia, with particular attention paid to the experiences of LGBT communities, sex workers and sexually-active young people. Two major narratives tend to dominate the discourse around these groups: one is focused through the lens of the HIV and public health, which sees queer and non-gender conforming people, sex workers, and young people as particularly vulnerable “at-risk” groups—a framing which ultimately decontextualizes their sexual behavior, undervalues their competence, and embodies them as potential “disease vectors”; the second narrative is expressed through moral panics around “loss of tradition” and “western influence”—both of which are seen to lead to immorality and delinquency. Whether victims or threats, the state and NGO response has been to enact policies, promote moral codes and scale-up programming to control and/or “treat” them. Yet there has been little focus on the specific rights and social, emotional and political needs of these groups. This chapter outlines the ways in which LGBT communities, sex workers and young people are responding to, and resisting these approaches and addressing their rights and needs through community mobilization and self-advocacy. 30. Childhood and Youth in Cambodia - Melina T. Czymoniewicz-Klippel (Pennsylvania State University - [email protected]
) This chapter will provide better understanding of changing meanings and experiences of childhood and youth in Cambodia. Positioning young people as human agents, the chapter brings together existing literature on this theme with cutting-edge ethnographic work which enables children and adolescents to give voice to their own meanings of childhood and youth. The chapter covers both male and female perspectives and covers such issues as gang culture, social inclusion/exclusion, and care services. Drawing on national-level surveys, it also includes an overview of key demographic trends in a country experiencing a 'youth bulge' in which more than two-thirds of the population are under thirty.
31. Hourseholds and Family Processes - Patrick Heuveline (UCLA [email protected]
) In this chapter, I will review living arrangements and family processes in Modern Cambodia. I will use recent Census and survey data to describe the size of Cambodian households, the number of children per woman, and living arrangements (family relationships of household members). I will describe common living arrangements over the life cycle, from childhood to marriage, and the formation of an independent household. Topics to be covered will include: orphanhood (foster parents and orphanages); single-parent families; changing marriage patterns (love v. arranged marriages); post-marital living arrangements (and the matrilocal/matriarchal controversy); divorce, widowhood and remarriage; elderly care. CULTURAL CURRENTS 32. Identity, Citizenship and Hybridity in Cambodia – Alvin Lim (University of Hawaii - [email protected]
) This chapter will focus on contemporary debates relating to identity in Cambodia. First, the historical construction of identity in Cambodia, ranging from the pre-colonial to the post-revolutionary period, will be considered. Next, issues of citizenship relating to the Khmer majority and the country's minority groups will be examined, with a focus on the Vietnamese, Cham Muslims, and Cambodia's highland tribes. Finally, the chapter will examine issues relating to hybrid identities arising from the Cambodian diaspora and its returnees. 33. Memory and Violence in Cambodia - James Tyner (Kent State University [email protected]
) As evidenced by innumerable mass graves, the legacy of violence is written deeply on the landscape of Cambodia. In this chapter both the moment and memorialization of violence is detailed. Many sites of violence have been memorialized in Cambodia. Many others however remain unmarked and unremarked. Security centers, which once detained and tortured prisoners have long since been dismantled. Mass graves have gradually been filled in or converted to rice fields. Those sites which retain a material presence, such as dams, dikes, and canals, are viewed not as sites of violence but as places necessary for contemporary quotidian life. In this chapter I comment on the legacy of Cambodia's violent past, and how, of if, it remains visible on the landscape. 34. A Shifting Universe: Religion and Moral Order in Cambodia - Alexandra Kent (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies - [email protected]
) Throughout Southeast Asia, understandings of morality – good and evil, right and wrong – have historically been interlaced with schemes of cosmological or religious order. Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and various highland animistic traditions have co-existed in the region for centuries but in today’s Cambodia, some ninety per cent of the population claims Theravada Buddhist identity. This chapter first presents an
historical overview of Cambodia’s religious landscape, placing emphasis upon the way in which Buddhism came to be grafted onto a pre-existing Hinduized cosmology in a way that radically altered the Khmer scheme of moral order. It will then discuss how the relationship between religion and morality was shaped by colonial rule and how it later evolved in the post-colonial era. The final section of the chapter describes how religion and morality have emerged following the violent imposition of an entirely secular moral order upon the people by the communist Khmer Rouge regime 1975-1979, when all religious activity was suppressed. The first part of the chapter will be devoted to the advent of first Mayahana and, later, Theravada Buddhism in Cambodia’s Hinduized state to illustrate how religious schemes of moral order have long been interwoven with concerns about power: protection, individual potency and the powers of nature. This will include a discussion of the role of the righteous monarch as channeler of the cosmic power necessary for worldly prosperity and the maintenance of hierarchical order. Mention will also be made of how, from the lowland perspective, recalcitrant animist highlanders who defied control by the monarch were seen as the antithesis of civilized and morally ordered life. The second section of the chapter will describe French colonial efforts to introduce their own secular moral order with measures such as judicial and educational reforms arising from enlightenment philosophy in Europe, which tended to undermine the divine status of the Cambodian monarchs. The fact that Buddhist monks, with their powerful moral credibility, figured prominently among those who led popular anticolonial uprisings will be noted. The brutal enforcement of a still more radically secular moral order by the communist Khmer Rouge leaders, who were intolerant both of religious alternatives and of monarchical authority, will also be described in this section. The third part of the chapter will be devoted to Cambodia’s struggle to reconfigure religion and moral order in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge period. Issues such as new anxieties arising as consumerist values and competition over resources swept into a country that was struggling to recover its moral compass, the implications in such a context of ongoing patron-clientism, the weakening of the monarchy and the entanglement of religion in party politics will also be discussed. 35. Finding new ground: Maintaining and transforming traditional music in contemporary Cambodia – Catherine Grant (Newcastle University, Australia [email protected]
) In their volume Cambodian Culture since 1975, editors Ebhihara, Mortland and Ledgerwood (1994) explore themes around ‘Khmer trying to preserve their culture, trying to define what Khmer culture is, and trying to fit their culture within new contexts’. Focusing on the next 20 years – roughly 1995 to 2015 – this chapter builds on that earlier research, centring attention on changes in the practice, transmission, and dissemination of traditional music in Cambodia. First, it assesses recent developments in efforts to preserve and revitalise traditional music, including the nomination of certain genres for recognition by UNESCO as world intangible cultural heritage. Second, it examines contemporary values and constructs surrounding innovation and recontextualisation, including the influence of a growing Khmer and Western pop music culture. Finally, it reflects on the rising profile of Cambodia’s traditional and contemporary performing arts in the international arena, and explores implications for the trajectory of Cambodia’s music traditions into the 21st century.
36. The Persistent Presence of Cambodia’s Powerful Spirits – Courtney Work (Cornell University - [email protected]
) Cambodia is alive with non-visible and non-human actors that inhabit multiple dimensions of contemporary social life. Despite modern desires to deny their presence, spirits of the land, of powerful ancestors, and of wise teachers continue to inform the lives of the powerful and the powerless alike in Cambodia. From healers and monks, to musicians and artists, entrepreneurs and politicians, spirits of all kinds influence their actions. This chapter will explore the convoluted relationship between spirit traditions, religion, witchcraft, and power since the rise of capitalism in the region. While the essay covers almost 150 years, the debates and scholarly currents continue to fold around the persistent insistence that spirits are figments of uneducated and backward imaginations and the persistent presence of the spirits themselves. Tracing the trajectory of spirit practices, local perceptions, and international interventions, this chapter explores old and new research agendas alongside contemporary events with an eye toward reimagining the future. 37. Natural and Cultural Heritage Protection in Cambodia – Jo Gillespie (University of Sydney - [email protected]
) This chapter shall review current knowledge about the protection of Cambodia’s natural and cultural heritage. From the temples and monuments of Angkor to the moving shores of the Tonle Sap and to the vast tropical forest protected areas of the Cardamom Mountains and beyond, the Khmer identity both embodies and embraces the preservation of Cambodia’s historical and modern landscapes. Cultural heritage management writ large plays a key role in forming a distinct national identity which resonates into the twentieth first century. Using examples from across the country, this chapter discusses the heritage conservation narrative in a Cambodian setting. This involves an exploration of the ways in which both state-based government/s create regulations and policies to protect heritage landscapes and the ways in which the Khmer people react to these initiatives. In this post-conflict and developing country context the heritage protection system is of the utmost value in asserting a distinct Cambodian identity, yet it is under immediate and ever-present danger from competing development imperatives. This chapter explores the conundrums facing modern heritage policy makers and reiterates the need for balance between completing priorities in heritage management regimes. 38. Tourism Development in Cambodia - Vannarith Chheang (University of Leeds [email protected]
) Tourism constitutes one of the key economic pillars of the current Cambodian economic structure. It is the second largest income-generating sector after the garment industry. This chapter discusses tourism products, tourism development policy, and the impacts of tourism on the Cambodian economy, society, and culture. It argues that Cambodia has great potential to develop its tourism industry given the availability of tourism products and resources. State plays significant role in promoting the industry in order to promote political legitimacy, national identity construction, cultural innovation, economic development, and poverty reduction. However, due to the weak policy and
institution in distributing revenues and promoting sustainable tourism, it results in widening development gap and environmental degradation. 39. Addressing the Contemporary: Recent Trends and Debates in Cambodian Visual Art – Joanna Wolfarth (Leeds - [email protected]
) After the near complete eradication of culture during the Khmer Rouge regime and the decades of upheaval which followed, it took until the late 1990s for the arts in Cambodia to recover. Having emerged from this post-war, post-colonial context art is now flourishing. Organisations at the forefront of this recuperation include Reyum and Java Arts in Phnom Penh and Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang. More latterly, new galleries such as Sa Sa Bassac and Romeet and art festivals such as Made in Battambang have contributed to further increasing the artistic infrastructure of the country. In 2013 several organisations came together to hold a three-day conference in Siem Reap on the topic of new approaches to Khmer visual cultures, with a large number of the papers addresses questions of modern and contemporary art. Over the last decade the visual arts in Cambodia have begun to thrive and a number of Khmer artists are now exhibiting internationally and participating in some of the world’s largest art fairs and biennales. This chapter examines some of these developments in contemporary art and presents key debates in the discipline of art history in Cambodia, which centre on questions of contemporaneity, the legacy of war and practices of commemoration, and the interface between the global and the local. The discussion in this chapter is grounded in the study of the practices of artists such as Leang Seckon, Khvay Samnang, Svay Sareth, and Pich Sopheap, among others. These artists each work in variety of mediums such as performance, painting, photography, and collage and produce bodies of work which respond to social and political issues. This chapter will provide a brief contextual background to the present moment, but its central aim is to give readers a familiarity of the state of contemporary art in Cambodia. 5. Details of the Book’s Structure Introduction This chapter introduces the book’s thematic coverage by outlining its substantive content and placing Cambodia within its global and regional frame. We will introduce a general overview of the current social science literature on Cambodia and discuss the country’s importance in relation to contemporary social, political, economic and cultural processes. Political Tensions This thematic section seeks to focus readers’ attention to the major political implications and tensions that have evolved in response to the ongoing struggles for greater transparency and accountability among the political leadership, as well as the changing parameters of Cambodia’s economic profile and positioning with respect to other countries in Southeast Asia as well as on a global stage. Rural Developments Agrarian transformation has been a hallmark of Cambodia’s developmental process, and an accounting of the profound changes that are occurring within the rural context is necessary
to account for given the shifting demographics and migrations that are remaking this landscape. This section will accordingly offer insight into some of the major developments that are unfolding within the rural sphere. Urban Conflicts While we are cognizant that separating the rural from the urban establishes a false dichotomy of sorts, as indeed many of the processes occurring in one sphere have profound consequences on the other. Nonetheless, as an organizing principle we feel there are significant features of urban life that differ from what is going on in the countryside, and it is important to take stock and consider how cities in Cambodia, and particularly Phnom Penh, have become primary sites of change, which has unfortunately often resulted in considerable conflict for city dwellers. Social Processes In this section we seek to cover the major processes that have shaped social understandings in contemporary Cambodia. We hope to provide readers with an indication of how Cambodians have come to understand themselves in relation to each other and the outside world, and the ways in which social values and ideas have been shaped and appreciated. Cultural Currents This section proposes to understand the cultural dimensions of Cambodia’s current experience, and particularly how identity comes into contact with and responds to other cultural themes. The intention here is to acquire and produce a greater recognition for the complexity of the contemporary moment, where the present always represents a crossroads between the old and the new as Cambodians negotiate the ever-flowing currents of cultural change. 6. Description of the Book’s Target Market The book is primarily aimed at the academic community, including other scholars and students working and studying in the fields of Asian studies, critical political economy, human geography, agrarian and peasant studies, anthropology, critical theory, development studies, sociology, peace and conflict studies, political science, critical legal studies, postcolonial studies, and international relations. Those with an interest in transitional political economies and post-conflict contexts will find the book particularly useful, which beyond the academic community may include policy analysts and those working in nongovernmental and aid organizations. The book will also find an audience with a more general readership, particularly among activists, but also those individuals who have an interest in contemporary Cambodian politics, including those tourists traveling to, or recently returned from mainland Southeast Asia. In terms of student readership, the book would be suitable as a resource text for upper level undergraduate and graduate students. The book has international appeal, where a readership would be found in scholarly communities throughout the English speaking world in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, India, Nigeria, Hong Kong, Singapore, and also within non-English speaking Southeast Asian countries with large expatriate communities.
7. Competing Books The existing competition for this proposed book is extremely thin. The only real comparable text of this scope that I’ve seen to date is now almost 15 years old: Sorpong Peou. Ed. Ashgate: Aldershot.
2000. Cambodia: Change and Continuity in Contemporary Politics.
This text is extremely significant of course, but it differs considerably from what is being offered here insofar as Peou’s volume was a collection of previously published articles, whereas the volume we are proposing is to be composed of entirely new chapters written specifically for this edited collection. In addition to being dated, our volume also proposes to encompass more of the social and cultural side of the spectrum as well, while Peou’s concern was explicitly focused on politics. Outside of Peou’s contribution, there is no single text that can match the scope of what we are proposing. The Nordic Institute of Asian Studies has published a series of recent volumes on Cambodia, that when taken together would offer a similar degree of coverage. These include: Caroline Hughes and Kheang Un. Eds. 2011. Cambodia’s Economic Transformation. NIAS Press: Copenhagen. Alexandra Kent and David Chandler. Eds. 2011. People of Virtue: Reconfiguring Religion, Power and Moral Order in Cambodia Today. NIAS Press: Copenhagen. Joakim Öjendal and Mona Lilja. Eds. 2011. Beyond Democracy in Cambodia Political Reconstruction in a Post-Conflict Society. NIAS Press: Copenhagen. Routledge have also published one book which explored contemporary Cambodian culture at home and abroad. Leakthina Chau-Pech Ollie and Tim Winter. Eds. 2006. Expressions of Cambodia: The Politics of Tradition, Identity and Change. Routledge: London. Almost a decade old, and with a niche focus, the Handbook of Contemporary Cambodia again offers additional value insofar as it brings different threads of the current Cambodian experience under one roof. It allows for readers and contributors to think through connections between political, political, cultural, economic, rural and urban processes with greater ease and efficiency. In this respect, this is a very unique offering that we anticipate will become the definitive touchstone text for contemporary Cambodian studies. 8. Editor Biographies Katherine Brickell is a Senior Lecturer in Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her expertise lies in the analysis of gendered injustices, which manifest in, and emerge from, the interactions between macro and micro level socio-economic change in Cambodia and Vietnam. Katherine has ten years of research experience in Cambodia funded variously by the ESRC, UK Department for International Development (DfID), and Royal
Geographical Society-with Institute of British Geographers. She is the sole author of the forthcoming monograph Home SOS: Gender, Injustice and Rights in Cambodia (Wiley-Blackwell 2016) and has published widely in leading journals across multiple disciplines, including Progress in Human Geography, Progress in Development Studies, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Journal of Development Studies, and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Simon Springer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at University of Victoria, Canada. His research agenda explores the political, social, and geographical exclusions that neoliberalization has engendered in post-transitional Cambodia, emphasizing the spatialities of violence and power. He cultivates a cutting edge approach to human geography through a theoretical edifice that foregrounds emerging thematic concerns within the discipline by incorporating both poststructuralist critique and a radical revival of anarchist philosophy in advancing a postanarchist positionality. Simon has published extensively in a number of top-ranking human geography journals including Progress in Human Geography, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Political Geography, and Environment and Planning A. He is also the author of Cambodia's Neoliberal Order: Violence, Authoritarianism, and the Contestation of Public Space (Routledge 2010), Violent Neoliberalism: Development, Discourse, and Dispossession in Cambodia (Palgrave Macmillan 2015), and the lead editor of a special issue of Antipode on anarchist geographies.