“Weak State and the Limits of Democratization in Cambodia, 1993-2016”
Associate Professor of Political Science
Northern Illinois University
This talk analyzes the nexus of democracy and state building in Cambodia following the 1993 United Nations intervention. It reveals that over two decades later, Cambodia’s democracy has landed in the zone of electoral authoritarianism while its state capacity remains weak. These conditions are by-products of the nature of the state at the time of the introduction of democracy. Despite the promulgation of a new liberal democracy in 1993, the structure of the Cambodian state has remained based on a neo-patrimonial system which constitutes of formal political institutions and informal networks of patron-clientelism. This talk traces the formal and informal structures to discern their interactions and impact on state capacity and the quality of democracy.