Transition, Culture, and Language in Cambodia

Thomas Clayton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

12 Citations (SciVal)


Cambodia has transitioned away from the Communist systems and practices of the 1980s and today embraces the market economy and liberal democracy. These transitions, in turn, have affected culture. The population of Cambodia was estimated at 13.5 million in 2003. Approximately 90% of Cambodians are ethnic Khmer and speak Khmer as their native language. Cambodia’s contemporary history begins when King Norodom Sihanouk negotiated the country’s independence from France, in 1953, within the context of an escalating, regionwide Communist insurgency. Besides Cambodia’s political structure, the constitution also clarifies the country’s intended economic trajectory in the post-Communist period. Political change in Cambodia began in the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) era, and it has continued with the country’s admission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). UNTAC was originally deployed as a bilingual mission, English and French, though English quickly rose to dominance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguage Policy, Culture, and Identity in Asian Contexts
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781351560894
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2007 by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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