Democratization, Elite Transition, and Violence in Cambodia,
This article is concerned with elite management of
democratic transition in Cambodia between 1991 and 1999.
It surveys the manner in which various elites, dominated
by Hun Sen in particular, have viewed the legitimacy
of opposition in a political culture characterized by
elite authoritarianism, narrow vested interests, and
deeply entrenched systems of patronage and clientelism.
This view is then located in the wider context of external
pressures and mechanisms for the pluralization of their
political society. While the paper reveals cultural
insights drawn from primary material, it is also framed
by a debate on when, why, and how elites do and do not
reform away from self-interest and self-aggrandizement
and move to fair and impartial representation of wider
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