A History of Cambodia-Thailand Diplomatic Relations 1950-2020

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TitleA History of Cambodia-Thailand Diplomatic Relations 1950-2020
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsDeth, SUdom
PublisherGalda Verlag

Relations between the neightbors Thailand and Cambodia have fluctuated over the past few decades. At times, these fluctuations have been quite drastic, ranging from cold, lukewarm or hot, and including armed confrontations along the border and disputes about overlapping claims on oil rich areas in the Gulf of THailand. While many studies point to identity politics as the source of tensions, Cambodian scholar Sok Udom Deth delivers an interpretation of the ups and downs in relations using the social conflict analysis model by Lee Jones. The focus here lies in the question of what societal and political groups wield power within their -respective states that are responsible for decision-making policies within foreign relations. The logic behind changes in the ease and escalation of relatiosn hence lies in the competing interests between societal groups and how these match figurations within the political realms of its neighbor. Sok Udom Deth thereby challenges ideas of pure nationalism and identity politics as a driving factor behind policies by providing a much more fine-grained and balanced analysis that does not focus on single events (thereby exacerbating their singularity and under-representing important historical developments). He also adds a voice from the region as an outstanding Cambodian academic who has always impressed me with his neutral analyses of political history, something rarely found in the increasingly bi-partisan enviroment. This is wy his book on the history of Cambodian-Thai diplomatic relations covering seven decades is an indispensable must-read for academics working on Cambodia, Thailand or both countries as well as regional and general foreign policy analyses. This monograph is a much-welcomed addition to our "Insights Southeast Asia" series. 

Dewey ID327
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