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Cambodia's Foreign Relations in Regional and Global Contexts

The volume, published by KAS Cambodia, is a collection of 20 articles predominantly written by Cambodian authors about the evolution and current status of Cambodia’s foreign relations in the context of changing regional and global economic, political and social contexts.

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A look at Cambodia’s history and present shows the multifaceted nature of its foreign relations and how the relations have shaped the political, socio-cultural and economic landscape of the Kingdom. In this regard, foreign relations, simply put the relations between Cambodia and other states or international institutions, have been a double-edged sword. On one side, there were conflicts, war and diplomatic tensions due to reasons of ideology and national interest, imperialism and mutual misunderstanding. A case in point is the Preah Vihear conflict between Thailand and Cambodia as well as the Indochina war in the 60s and bombardments against Cambodia in the 70s. On the other side, foreign relations have been a source of inspiration, cooperation and development. New political and economic ideas have been exchanged across borders and led to growth and prosperity. Common international environmental and security challenges have been tackled in a cooperative way sharing the same vision. There are countless examples buttressing the positive effects of cooperation like the UNTAC peace mission, the results of development cooperation and ASEAN. Even if it is not always easy to bring stakeholders together, to create a common basis of mutual understanding, to design cross border decision-making procedures or to overcome national interests and historical resentments, the avoidance of war and insecurity is worth all the efforts.

Cambodia has, since 1991, deepened and extended its foreign relations with regional and international partners, always envisioning the relevance of national stability, national interests and sovereignty. It is due to the importance of Cambodia´s foreign relations that Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Cambodia, in cooperation with the editors of this book, decided to create a comprehensive source of information on the Foreign Relations in Regional and Global Contexts of the Kingdom of Cambodia. As there is, to-date, a limited number of publications available, this book serves as a useful guide into the different relations and dynamics between Cambodia and its diverse cooperation partners. The publication is a comprehensive and thought-provoking contribution to the academic field of foreign relations and international studies as well as to all interested people.

One particular aim of the book has been to motivate Cambodian scholars and students to academically engage with research questions about the relations of Cambodia with other countries and contribute with their articles towards the analysis and general better understanding of Cambodia’s foreign relations.

The book is structured in four main parts, namely the relations with neighboring countries and maritime southeast Asia, relations with regional and global powers, memberships in international organizations and economic integration and security policy. Articles about Cambodia’s relations with neighboring countries and maritime southeast Asia is mainly concentrating on the difficult position Cambodia has, being located in the middle of two strong countries: Thailand and Vietnam. To give a balanced view the editors and KAS chosen to give a platform for authors from both of these countries. This part of the book also enlightens Cambodia’s relations to Laos and in general the importance of relations to the neighboring countries in the context of ASEAN. Articles about Cambodia’s relations with regional and global powers, especially the bounds to the three superpowers China, United States and the Soviet Union/Russia is the central theme of the publication. The tensions and cooperation Cambodia had with these countries are interwoven with all other parts of the book. Other partner countries focused on are the European Union, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and India. These chapters give the reader an insight about the rapidly rising economic ties Cambodia is establishing. Furthermore, the publication contains articles about Cambodia’s membership in international organizations and economic integration and security cooperation. Articles introduce the reader to Cambodia’s role in the ASEAN and its relation to the United Nations. Economically and security wise the reader learns about Cambodia’s defense policy, the Greater Mekong Subregional Cooperation (GMS) and Cambodia’s integration in global economic and financial systems.

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Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.




Cambodia Cambodia

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