Department of History

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University



About the research

My research sets out to offer a novel account of Cambodia’s post-conflict reconstruction politics since the 1993 reintroduction of multi-party elections. For my PhD research at the University of Cambridge, I explored the role of nationalist imaginings, discourses and narratives in Cambodia’s new political order. Based on this research, I published the monograph Cambodia’s Second Kingdom: Nation, Imagination, and Democracy (Cornell SEAP, 2016). In the book I trace out a tension between domestic elite imaginings and the formally liberal democratic framework in which they operate, and assess the implications for democratic practice. I have also published a number of journal articles which from different perspectives examine contemporary efforts by political elites to gain legitimacy in the context of historically inherited constraints, and how these have contributed to producing current political trajectories.  For my postdoctoral research, I shifted to analyse Cambodian democratisation through the lens of novel forms of democratic citizenship emerging in Southeast Asia. As part of the KITLV research project “From clients to citizens?”, I examined popular ideas of models of provision, political gift-giving, and citizen rights based on interviews with ordinary Cambodians in the aftermath of the contested 2013 elections.

Currently, my research focuses on the emergence of mass politics in Cambodia from the perspective of charismatic individuals who play an intermediary role between social movements and party politics. I seek to assess what models of citizenship are being forged on the resulting political arenas, and to map the landscape of social mobilisation in Cambodia at the intersection of individuals, social movements, and party politics.


Books (3)
Articles (6)
Book chapters (2)
Reviews (1)
Articles in specialist publications and popular press (1)
Miscellaneous (6)

Research portal (Lund University)

Astrid Norén-Nilsson

Associate Senior Lecturer
Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University
Department of History

Contact information

E-mail astrid.noren-nilssonace.luse

Room 118C

Visiting address Sölvegatan 18 B, Lund

Postal address Box 118, 221 00 Lund

Internal post code 61