What should the region do about Cambodia’s crackdown?

The run up to Cambodia’s July 2018 elections has seen the curtailment of political freedoms, an increase in politically motivated prosecutions, and the dissolution of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). On 9 March 2018, the ANU hosted a special forum that brought together scholars, political leaders, and civil society to discuss the effects of Hun Sen’s crackdown, place the current crisis of democratic space in its historical context, and consider the possible ways forward for Cambodia.

On this panel, expert speakers discussed the most effective regional responses to the Cambodian regime’s crackdown ahead of Hun Sen’s visit to Australia for the 2018 ASEAN-Australia Special Summit. You can listen to the audio of the discussion in the box above or at New Mandala’s Soundcloud page, where you’ll also find more audio content from ANU and New Mandala public events.


Leng Thearith | Phd Candidate, UNSW @ ADFA

Elaine Pearson | Australia Director, Human Rights Watch

Prof Gareth Evans | Chancellor, Australian National University


Aaron L. Connelly | East Asia Program, Lowy Institute

More Cambodia at New Mandala

Gareth Evans on confronting Hun Sen

Read the former Australian foreign minister's remarks made at the "Cambodia on the Brink" conference in Canberra.

Explaining the crackdown in Cambodia

Two factors: the CPP is spooked by its declining electoral fortunes, and the west hasn't spoken up for democracy.

Hun Sen’s gamble

The dissolution of the CNRP protects the prime minister’s position in the short term, but may backfire in the long run.