What does it mean to be Cambodian? This question holds considerable significance for the nation’s 16 million strong population. Is it the Identity, Culture, and Legacy rooted in the history and splendor of Angkor? Or is it instead tethered to the brutality of the Khmer Rouge regime? It need not be either to the mind of author DIN Darathtey. In her chapter, Darathtey explores the intersections between economic development, institutional representation, and art in society in the pursuit of contemporary Cambodian identity. By examining the cultural markers of the past in concert with the features of today, this chapter outlines the trajectory towards the promotion of Cambodian identity and pride beyond the constraints of its history.
About the Author
DETH Sok Udom, Bradley J. Murg, OU Virak, Michael Renfrew
DETH Sok Udom is Associate Professor of International Relations and Rector of Paragon International University (formerly Zaman University). Dr. Deth received his bachelor’s degree with High honor’s in Sociology from Boĝaziçi University (Turkey), a master’s degree in Southeast Asian Studies from Ohio University (USA), and a Ph.D. in Southeast Asian Studies from Humboldt University of Berlin (Germany). He is a member of the Board of Academic Advisors of Future Forum and a Senior Fellow at the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (CICP). Dr. Deth is credited with several academic publications and has been invited to give guest lectures at various institutions/universities. Occasionally, he shares his insights on local and regional media about Cambodian and regional affairs as well.
Bradley J. Murg is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Asian Studies and Director of Global Development Studies at Seattle Pacific University and Director of Research at Future Forum. Additionally, Dr. Murg also holds positions as Affiliate Professor at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, Distinguished Fellow at the Royal University of Law and Economics, Visiting Professor at Paragon International University, and lead editor of the Journal of Greater Mekong Studies. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Emory University with a B.A./M.A. in philosophy, received a M.Sc. in economic history from the London School of Economics, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Washington.
OU Virak is the founder and president of Future Forum. He is one of Cambodia’s most prominent and principled political analysts and human rights activists, with proven expertise in strengthening grassroots movements, conducting political economy analyses, spearheading organizational development and directing risk assessments. Prior to founding Future Forum in late 2015, Virak led the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, one of Cambodia’s premier human rights organizations, where he turned the organization around and rebuilt it from the ground up after significant losses in both staff and funding. He has led successful campaigns to free human rights activists and tackled some of the most controversial issues in Cambodia: rule of law, freedom of expression, racism, LGBT rights, forced evictions and more. He holds an MA in Economics from California State University of San Jose.
Michael Renfrew is a PhD candidate with the University of Glasgow working on international trade and trade agreement characteristics, with a focus on the ASEAN region. Michael works with Future Forum as the Program Manager for Cambodia Outlook, the think-tanks publication and output arm. He holds a master’s degree in economic development from the University of Glasgow (Scotland), alongside an honor’s degree in international business and economics from the University of Strathclyde (Scotland). He began his association with Cambodia in 2016 as the Communications Volunteer at local youth-development NGO Youth Star Cambodia, of which he is currently chairperson.