Cambodia's Economic Transformation

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edited by Caroline Hughes and Kheang Un

From 2002, Cambodia underwent a visible economic transformation driven largely by such external factors as increased Chinese demand for primary commodities and a strong international demand for Cambodian garments. Apart from dramatic rates of economic growth, the boom involved the disappearance of forests and the decline of logging, the inflow of Chinese investment and the rise of indigenous capital, and the increased significance of remittances from garment workers and labour migrants. In addition, the impact of government policies on land registration and concessions transformed relations of production and, with them, the socio-economic and political environment in rural and urban Cambodia. Cambodia’s Economic Transformation examines the political economy of the Cambodian boom, analysing the changing structure of the economy, the relationship between state and market, and outcomes for the poor. Not least, it focuses the role of the state in facilitating and controlling the market, and the way that this has affected the life chances of the poor. In so doing, it situates Cambodian experience within key debates in the wider political economy of Eastern Asia, scrutinizing the relationship between class formation, structures of governance and resource distribution. The analysis also offers a deeper understanding of the nature of the market as it has emerged in Cambodia over the past decade.

"[…] this is a well-planned and constructed book that will be of considerable use to anyone interested in contemporary Cambodia and the transformative nature and extent of social and economic change in that country." - John Walsh, Shinawatra University,

Caroline Hughes is Director of the Asia Research Centre at Murdoch University and has been studying the process of economic and political change in Cambodia since 1995.

Kheang Un is Assistant Professor of political science at North Illinois University. His interests include democratization, human rights, NGOs, and political economy. Both editors serve as research advisors to the Cambodia Development Resource Institute in Phnom Penh.

Publication year: 2011
384 pp / 229mm x 152mm
5 figures, 15 tables
ISBN: 978-87-7694-083-6, Paperback
ISBN: 978-87-7694-082-9, Hardback

NIAS Press