Accepted paper:

China and civil society in Cambodia


Sokphea Young (University College London)

Paper short abstract:

The influence of Chinese aid on civil society space and development in Cambodia.

Paper long abstract:

The world is facing and challenging a dramatic political change. While some countries have transformed from an authoritarianism to a more democratic one by providing more freedom and space to civil society, the rest countries, those in the global South, have traversed between the two political systems. Political development Southeast Asian nations, including Cambodia, have likewise conquered a similar challenge, but it is more likely moving toward an authoritarian style of leader. Given that the contemporary civil society space in Cambodia is shrinking compared to the past two decades. This paper focuses on how domestic political affairs, especially political survival of the regime, and the regional influence, especially Chinese roles, has moulded civil society activism in Cambodia. It argues that the shrinking space of Cambodian civil society activism is induced by the growing of China' influence, in term of its aid and investments, in the region, and, in tandem with the regime's strategies to endure their office tenure.

panel G2
What does changing civic space mean for development?