Cambodia’s Elections Highlight Growing Marginalization

Neopatrimonialism remains the predominant influence on Cambodia’s political trajectory.

Cambodia’s recent elections open another chapter in a region that has largely rejected Western democratic models and liberal ideals. This is a society where traditional beliefs have shaped successive administrations, where the paternalistic culture flies in the face of popular sovereignty, and where neopatrimonialism – a hybrid political system where customs and traditions co-exist alongside the rational legal institutions of the state – remains the predominant form of governance.

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