Competing Hegemonies. Foreign-dominated processes of development in Cambodia


This research program addresses foreign-dominated processes of development in Cambodia, in particular economic growth and democratization and, thereby, aims at contributing to critical globalization scholarship. The context within which these processes obtain their significance is shaped by current Western practices of promoting good governance and the increasing presence of investors from the South. Cambodia constitutes a battlefield for influence of outside actors, as competing models of development emerge from the partly conflicting and partly converging interests and practices of international and local NGOs and community-based organizations, foreign investors from emerging economies and their partnerships with Cambodian actors (political elites and local entrepreneurs), and transnational networks of Cambodian returnees and the revitalized ethnic Chinese business community. The central question of the research program addresses the ways in which the diverging worldviews and interests of foreign hegemonies and related diasporic groups affect both the formation of a civil society and the development of a sustainable economy against the background of inconsistent government policies and patron-client relationships.
The methodology that integrates the different projects under this program is participatory on the one hand and heuristic on the other. The participative approach is informed by action research which is inclusive, emphasizing the integration of action and reflection. Systematic and intensive stakeholder involvement will be an integral part of the process of data-generation, theory-building and dissemination of findings throughout the program. In terms of the heuristic approach, the program employs triangulation: the combination of several research methodologies in the study of the same phenomenon by combining multiple theories, methods, and empirical data with the purpose of overcoming the weaknesses and biases that are integral to single-method, single-theory studies. The innovative dimension of this approach is that research will be an incessant process providing a learning environment for all parties involved and developing a knowledge network which is to continue after the program is finished. This approach opens an avenue for empirically based and socially embedded theory on hitherto neglected dimensions of globalization, involving those who have been overlooked as stakeholder (diverse diasporic groups) and, at the same time, those who work towards similar goals without taking notice of each other (civil society and private sector). The inclusion of academics and stakeholders in the research process and the joint development of a virtual knowledge network will make a unique and necessary contribution to capacity building and social change in Cambodia.



  • G.D.M. Wijers(2013): Navigating a river by its bends , Amsterdam
  • G.D.M. Wijers(2013): Navigating a River by its Bends , Amsterdam  25 juni 2013
  • S. Khieng(2014): The Dawn of Social Enterprise? NGOs balancing between social value creation and profit-making in Cambodia. , Amsterdam  2 juli 2014

Hoofdstuk in boek

  • H Dahles, M van Gelderen, E Masurel(2011): Entrepreneurship in Context. pp. 151 - 162 , London
  • C. Hughes, S. So, K. Un(2011): Economic Reform and Transformation in Cambodia pp. 153 - 179 , Copenhagen/Honolulu
  • B.Z. Tamanaha, D Adler, Caroline Sage, S So, M. Woodcock(2012): Legal Pluralism and Development pp. 83 - 94 , Cambridge

Wetenschappelijk artikel

  • G.D.M. Wijers(2010): Determinants of the Digital Divide Technology in Society pp. 336 - 341
  • G.D.M. Wijers(2011): The reception of Cambodian Refugees in France Journal of Refugee Studies pp. 239 - 255
  • H Dahles, J ter Horst(2012): Institutionalizing Chineseness. The legacies of Chinese commercial hegemony in the Cambodian silk industry Journal of Contemporary Asia pp. 210 - 229
  • M.J. Verver(2012): Templates of 'Chineseness' and Trajectories of Cambodian Chinese Entrepreneurship in Phnom Penh Cross Currents. East Asian History and Culture review pp. 23 - 51
  • P. Heng(2012): Cambodia-China Relations: A Positive- Sum Game? Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs pp. 57 - 85
  • G.D.M. Wijers(2013): Immigrant communities as resources for emancipation. A comparison of bounded solidarity in two Cambodian communities Journal of Migration and Development pp. 3 - 27
  • G.D.M. Wijers(2013): Brokering, building and bargaining for the transformation of Cambodia. A study on Cambodian French returnees as institutional entrepreneurs International Journal of Institutions and Economies pp. 75 - 96
  • M.J. Verver, H. Dahles(2013): The Anthropology of Chinese Capitalism in Southeast Asia: From Culture to Institution? Journal of Business Anthropology pp. 93 - 114
  • G.D.M. Wijers(2013): Contributions to transformative change in Cambodia. A study on returnees as institutional entrepreneurs Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs pp. 3 - 27
  • S Khieng(2013): Funding Mobilization Strategies of Nongovernmental Organizations in Cambodia. Voluntas. Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations pp. 1 - 24
  • H Dahles(2013): Cambodian returnees? entrepreneurial ventures: the opportunities and constraints of mixed embeddedness Journal of Enterprising Communities. People and Places in the Global Economy pp. 383 - 396
  • C. Sam, P. van der Sijde(2014): Understanding the concept of the entrepreneurial university from the perspective of higher education models Higher Education pp. 891 - 908
  • M.J. Verver, H. Dahles(2014): The Institutionalization of Oknha: Cambodian Entrepreneurship at the Interface of Business and Politics Journal of Contemporary Asia pp. 1 - 30
  • S. Khieng, H. Dahles(2014): Commercialization in the Non-Profit Sector: The Emergence of Social Enterprise in Cambodia. Journal of Social Entreprneurship pp. 1 - 20
  • G.D.M. Wijers(2014): Navigating a River by its Bends: A study on transnational networks as resources for the transformation of Cambodia Ethnic and Racial Studies pp. 1 - 19
  • G.D.M. Wijers(2014): Beyond democracy..? Questioning transformative change in emerging nations: the case of Cambodia Amsterdam Social Science pp. 1 - 20
  • S. Khieng, H. Dahles(2014): Resource Dependence and Effects of Funding Diversification Strategies among NGOs in Cambodia. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations pp. 1 - 25

Professionele publicatie

  • S So(2011): Cambodia portion on ASEAN 10 pp. 35 - 39
  • P. Heng(2013): Chinese investment and aid in Cambodia a controversial affair
  • G.D.M. Wijers(2013): Cambodia Returnees' Contributions to Transformative Change
  • P. Heng(2013): Chinese investment and aid in Cambodia a controversial affair
  • H. Dahles(2013): Why China Charms Cambodia
  • G.D.M. Wijers(2014): Coming full circle: Migrant and remigrant entrepreneurs
  • P Heng(2014): Three Keys to Unlocking Cambodia's Growth
  • G.D.M. Wijers(2014): A new generation of Cambodian film makers: carefully approaching an absent center

Publicatie bedoeld voor een breed publiek

  • G. Wijers(2010): En France, une communauté khmère « dans l?ombre » pp. 16 - 17
  • M. Verver(2010): Amazing story of survival, success
  • P. Heng(2012): Cambodia's Energy Security at Risk
  • P. Heng(2012): Cambodia?s Energy Security Is at Risk
  • P. Heng(2012): Cambodia's Energy Security and Dependency Are At Risk pp. 27 - 27
  • P. Heng(2014): Critical Thinking: a Missing Skill Among Students
  • P. Heng(2014): Assuring the Quality of Education: The Business Approach
  • P. Heng(2014): Civil Society Needs a Stronger Voice in Policy Development
  • (2014): Hydropower: Not Inherently Evil
  • P. Heng(2014): Educational Reform: A long-term Strategy to Prepare Cambodia?s Youth for ASEAN Integration
  • P. Heng(2014): Protecting the Forest by Monetizing Trees
  • P. Heng(2014): Sustainable Energy for Cambodia
  • P. Heng(2014): Sustainable Energy for Cambodia
  • P. Heng(2014): Civil Society Needs a Stronger Voice in Policy Development
  • P. Heng(2014): Hydropower: Not Inherently Evil



W 01.65.324.00


Prof. dr. H. Dahles

Verbonden aan

Griffith University, Griffith Business School


Dr. N. Chanrith, P. Heng, T. San, Dr. S. So, Dr. K. Sothy, Dr. M.J. Verver, Dr. G.D.M. Wijers


01/10/2009 tot 01/01/2015