The MacMillan Center Council on Southeast Asia Studies will feature Kheang Un,
Associate Professor of Political Science at Northern Illinois University, who will present Democratic Reversal in Cambodia: Counter-movement and Shifting Dependency on October 3rd as a part of their Southeast Asia Studies Brown Bag Seminar Series. The Center stated about the talk:
In 2017, the Cambodian government dismantled the Cambodian National Rescue Party, clamped down on civil liberties and organized elections in 2018 without the presence of a credible opposition party. The presentation examines the reasons underlying the government’s decision to close down democratic space by focusing on the following arguments. First, the presence of some semblance of democracy in Cambodia was the outcome of the Western community’s pressure through its granting financial assistance and preferential trade access to Cambodia. So long as this order permitted the Cambodian People’s Party to maintain its domination, it conceded to Western demands.
Second, by the 2013 elections, key socio-economic and political changes culminated in a counter-movement to the CPP’s patronage-based politics. When the CPP felt that its grip on power was threatened, it instituted hegemonic electoral authoritarianism.
Third, since Cambodia’s democracy is a product of Western intervention and continued engagement, Cambodia’s recent return to authoritarianism can to great extent be attributed to China’s role as a counter-leverage to Western pressure.
Wednesday, October 2, 12:00 Noon
Room 203, Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Avenue