This article seeks to recover strands of liberalism in Cambodian politics from the period leading up to Independence onwards. It uses Bell’s (2014) summative conception of the liberal tradition, which understands liberalism contextually as a constructed and contested historical phenomenon. The starting point of the analysis is liberalism from the vantage point of the present: today’s half-hearted liberals, and those they may bring up when tracing a liberal genealogy. It is argued that the intersection with global liberalism currently is this: while today’s democratic opposition does not seek to ‘translate’ liberalism into Cambodian terms, it considers its own political mission to be part of a global liberal-democratic agenda when translating Cambodian realities to the global context. The article makes a claim for something that never came to be: broken lineages retrieved from undersized engagements with liberalism, enmeshed in other political agendas. Tracing the stunted circulation of liberal idioms, it is argued, allows us to see the comparatively familiar history of the more dominant political ideologies and projects differently.
|Tidskrift||Asian Studies Review|
|Status||E-pub ahead of print - 2022|
- Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier)