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International Relations

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KAS Cambodia paid a courtesy call on H.E Chem Widhya, Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

After decades of devastating civil war and the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, Cambodia was in a devastating state. Up until the 1990s, the country and its various governments were internationally isolated.

The 1990s are generally seen as the starting point of a strategic move in Cambodia’s foreign policy, with the country starting to strengthen its foreign relations with regional and international organizations, as well as embracing multilateral economic cooperation, after years of isolation following the UNTAC-led general elections in 1993.

One of the most important strategic moves was Cambodia’s accession into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 1999 and the final admission into the World Trade Organization in 2004.

Since then, ASEAN has become one of the most important pillars of Cambodia’s foreign policy and remains the corner stone of its multilateral economic diplomacy as seen by Cambodia’s participation and contributions to ASEAN’s working mechanisms. 

International Relations is one of the six main objectives of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Cambodia Office. We, as KAS Cambodia, aim to strengthen Cambodia’s dialogue with its regional partners and neighbors as well as with Germany and the European Union. Supporting a values-based multilateral international order, we endeavor to keep the dialogue open between European and German actors and the Royal Government in the field of international politics and security cooperation.

Konrad-Adenauer Foundation believes in a world and regional order that is free of great power domination and we try to do our part in fostering cooperation and peace between actors. The Indo-Pacific as a strategic space and strengthening the multilateral world order are two of the key regional topics that we promote in Cambodia and the region.

KAS has been working with important local partners ranging from the government to think tanks, academic institutions, scholars, and youths. KAS has been actively engaging and supporting the IR community by producing various publications on timely topics, organizing regular seminars/workshops/conferences/public lectures, and being a platform for open and inclusive political dialogue.

There are a number of annual flagship initiatives that are being implemented under Foreign Affairs. Those include Diplomatic Briefing publication, and other regional trending publications; Horizon Fellowship, a Young IR Scholars program, Adenauer Young Scholars For Excellence, a Public Policy Fellowship program, KAS-CICP Public Lecture Series, IR Policy Forum, etc.

Read on to learn more about who we are and what we do in the country.

Team & Topics


KAS Cambodia regularly publishes its research in a range of formats, from country reports to single title publications to recurring series. Please have a look under 'publications' to learn more about what is available from KAS and contact us in case you have inquiries or wish to learn more about a specific topic.

Cambodia 2040 is a recently concluded book series together with our partners FutureForum, covering the whole breadth of our topics. Our experts look at all the issues facing Cambodia now and in the future and try to make reasonable presumptions what a future Cambodia might look like. Have a look at the three available issues here.


The Diplomatic Briefing is a biannual collection of categorized opinion pieces and short articles from an extended network of the scholarly community and regional experts, covering a wide range of issues from international relations, to sub-regional affairs, to foreign policy, to economic and trade, and beyond. Get the available digital issues from our website and learn where you can get a print-copy.


Cambodia's ASEAN Chairmanship was published on the occasion of the Kingdom of Cambodia taking over the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2022, KAS Cambodia and the Asian Vision Institute (AVI) have come together to look at the priorities and challenges that lie ahead. In 14 chapters some of the most renowned experts and researchers on the region reflect on the state of ASEAN and analyse the opportunities and difficulties the Cambodian Chairmanship may encounter. This book offers key insights for researchers, analysts, policy makers, advisers and practitioners in the field to ensure a successful Chairmanship. Get the available digital issues from our website here.


The IR Policy Forum is a once yearly event together with our partners at the International Relations Institute of Cambodia (IRIC, see below) to discuss important developments and issues throughout the year.

Public Lecture co-organized by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Cambodia and our partners, is a public lecture that brings researchers, diplomats, experts and practitioners to discuss about relevant current international relations and global politics topics and issues with interested students.


Horizon Fellowship

Horizon Fellowship is a training program, which equips its participants with relevant social, communicative and technical skills to contribute in the long-term to fruitful and constructive dialogue between Europe and Asia. This program is designed to provide beyond the studies insights into the potential working environment. By providing exclusive access to current policy-makers, IR experts, diplomats and other practitioners, participants will extend their knowledge and deepen their understanding of international relations and diplomacy. Furthermore, the students will learn practical hands-on skill by conducting their own research project, simulation games and event projects.

Our partners


The Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (CICP) is an independent, neutral and bipartisan research institute in Phnom Penh. The CICP promotes national as well as regional dialogue between government representatives, national and international institutions, scholars and representatives of the private sector. Focused on the fields of peace, democracy, civil society, security and foreign policy, conflict resolution and economics, the CICP is positioned in a broad context, providing special expertise. Together with the CICP, KAS in Cambodia has, over many years, developed a mutual understanding as project partners. This can be seen in the execution of common projects such as international conferences on topics concerning the role of Cambodia in international relations.

Learn more on their website.



The International Relations Institute of Cambodia (IRIC) is a governmental research institution and part of the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC). IRIC is academically independent and devotes its research towards topics concerning Cambodia’s foreign policy as well as topics which have a great impact on social and societal relevance. To enhance this research, national and international scholars are brought together for IRIC’s research projects. These research projects almost always aim at policy proposals for Cambodia. Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) cooperates with IRIC on many projects, e.g. on conferences and publications.

Learn more on their website.


The Asian Vision Institute (AVI) is an independent think tank based in Cambodia. It aims at promoting inclusive growth and people-centred development, conducting practical policy and program research, strengthening cross-sectoral partnerships and collaboration and advancing knowledge sharing and building leadership and innovation capacity.

Learn more on their website.





The Institute of International Studies and Public Policy (IISPP) is the first public policy school of the Royal University of Phnom Penh; providing both graduate and undergraduate programs in the fields of International Relations/Affairs, Economics. and Political Science/Public Policy.

Learn more on their website.

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Chhayheng Soth

Portrait Chhayheng Soth

Program Manager +855 87 880 994

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