Cultural Renewal in Cambodia

Academic Activism in the Neoliberal Era

This book is about cultural work in torn-up societies. It narrates the establishment of an academic project in contemporary post-war Cambodia, when the country became the largest recipient of international aid. It depicts a Southeast Asian country at the crossroads of conflicting imaginaries of development through the lens of an independent organization that emerged out of the turmoil. It shows how the relations of domination of institutions from the ‘north’ effectively constrain alternative visions of action in the ‘south’ that fall outside the neo-liberal framework.

The account is a reflection on past ambitions and failures of the international good-will order, and a charge to change our approach in the future. It offers a cautionary tale whose significance transcends the Cambodian case.

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Philippe M. F. Peycam, PhD. (1999), School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, is Director of the International Institute for Asian Studies, The Netherlands. He is the founding director of the Center for Khmer Studies, Cambodia. He has published a number of articles and a monograph on Southeast Asia: The Birth of Vietnamese Political Journalism, Saigon, 1916-30 (Columbia University Press, 2012).
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Part 1: The Politics of Knowledge in Cambodia

1 A Post-Colonial Nation
 1 French Rule (1863–1953)
 2 Independent Cambodia (1953–1970)

2 Civil War, Genocide and CEDORECK
 1 The Khmer Republic (1970–75)
 2 The Khmer Rouge (1975–79)
 3 Rebuilding from the Ashes

3 Cambodia after UNTAC
 1 UNTAC and Its Legacies
 2 Education after UNTAC
 3 From ‘Media to Digital Democracy’?
 4 Non-Governmental Organizations

Part 2: The Making of a Hybrid Academic Institution

4 The Center for Khmer Studies
 1 Defining the Center’s Mission
 2 Building ‘From the Bottom-Up’

5 An Integrated Capacity-Building Program
 1 Programmatic Genesis
 2 The Junior Faculty Training Program (2004–10)

6 A Citizen’s Institution
 1 Conservation of (and Access to) Written Materials and Artifacts
 2 Expanding Creative Knowledge: Working with Artists and Craftsmen
 3 Community Engagement in Siem Reap

Part 3: Social Responsibilities: Scholars, Funders and Diplomats

7 Socially Engaged Scholars?
 1 Involving International Scholars
 2 Facilitating Special Educational Activities
 3 Relations with Individual Scholars

8 Funders as ‘Stakeholders’?
 1 Individual Philanthropists
 2 Foundations

9 Working with International Organizations and Cultural Diplomacies
 1 The World Bank
 2 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
 3 Working with Diplomats



Maps and Figures
All those interested in the economy of knowledge in Southeast Asia and the Global South, with emphasis on international development in education, in intercultural social studies, the social role of Academia and Philanthropy.
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