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The Politics of Civil Society Organisation in Cambodia and Vietnam

In: European Journal of East Asian Studies
Author: Adam Fforde1
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The paper examines the correct analytical positioning of foreign donors’ aid support for civil society in Cambodia and Vietnam. It is argued that references to the ‘state’ should include political activities (by donors) in order to better understand the effects of the different donors’ strategies in the two countries. By discussing the question of sovereignty, the paper argues that the weakness of civil society in Vietnam is linked to the weakness of state agency, and vice versa in Cambodia. The paper concludes that donors’ analyses should have taken (and in Vietnam did not take) fuller account of the positive effects of support for civil society upon state strength.

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