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Cambodia's façade democracy and European assistance

Kambodschanische Fassadendemokratie und europäische Unterstützung
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Karbaum, Markus

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Abstract Although Cambodia adopted a modern democratic constitution in 1993, Prime Minister Hun Sen has consolidated an autocratic regime in which elections are the only way political competition plays out, and even that competition is limited. Freedom of expression, horizontal and vertical control mechanisms, and civil participation have been reduced to almost zero by the Royal Government of Cambodia. Irrespective of the deinstitutionalization of liberal principles, the European Commission and some EU member states still perceive Cambodia as moving toward democratization. In the case of Cambodia, the difficulty of external democracy promotion is compounded by the limited impact of formal state institutions, which are completely undermined by kinship relations, personal networks, clientelism and nepotism. However, one can observe not only non-effective efforts toward European democracy promotion, but also increasing human rights violations due to trade facilitations, namely the EU’s “Everything But Arms” initiative.
Keywords Cambodia; EU; democracy; repression; human rights; human rights violation; freedom of opinion; Southeast Asia
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy
Method descriptive study
Free Keywords democracy promotion; authoritarianism; 1990-2010
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 111-143
Journal Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 30 (2011) 4
ISSN 1868-4882
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works