This study addresses the recent increase in authoritarianism (autocratization) which occurred in Cambodia. The research covers the timeline from the parliamentary election period in 2013 to the parliamentary election period in 2018, marked by the unprecedented gains by the opposition party, on the one hand, and the elimination of political opposition by rendering the opposition party illegal, on the other. The research focuses on changes in four key sectors (electoral system, media, civil society, the labor sector), and argues increased autocracy was made possible through legitimation strategies deployed by the regime. It is argued, these strategies involved co-opting the norms and discourse of liberal democracy (such as rule of law, electoral accountability, and good governance) in processes of change which actually undermined liberal democracy and supported the sedimentation of a single party system, the personalized power of the ruler, and increased infrastructural power of the state.
Kevin Nauen, Pannasastra University of Cambodia, Cambodia
See this presentation on the full schedule – Saturday Schedule