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.
- Nilsson, A. N. & Xidias, J. (2017). Who governs? : Democracy and power in an American city. Routledge/ Taylor and Francis Group.
- Norén-Nilsson, A., Morrow, E. & Quinn, R. (2017). Democracy and its Critics. Routledge/ Taylor and Francis Group.
- Norén-Nilsson, A. (2016). Cambodia's Second Kingdom: Nation, Imagination, and Democracy. Studies on Southeast Asia. Cornell University Press.
- Norén-Nilsson, A. (2019). Kem Ley and Cambodian Citizenship Today: Grass-Roots Mobilisation, Electoral Politics and Individuals. Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 38, 77-97. GIGA Institute of Asian Studies.
- Norén-Nilsson, A. & Bourdier, F. (2019). Introduction: Social movements in Cambodia. Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 38, 3-9. GIGA Institute of Asian Studies.
- Norén-Nilsson, A. (2016). Good gifts, bad gifts, and rights : Cambodian popular perceptions and the 2013 elections. Pacific Affairs, 89, 795-815. Pacific Affairs.
- Norén-Nilsson, A. (2016). The Demise of Cambodian Royalism and the Legacy of Sihanouk. Sojourn, 31, 1-36. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
- Norén-Nilsson, A. (2013). Performance as (re) incarnation: The Sdech Kân narrative. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 44, 4-23. Cambridge University Press.
- Norén-Nilsson, A. (2011). Children of former Khmer Rouge cadres. Peace Review, 23, 462-468. Routledge.
Book chapters (2)
- Norén-Nilsson, A. (2018). Cambodia. In Ogawa, A. (Ed.) Routledge Handbook of Civil Society in Asia. Routledge/ Taylor and Francis Group.
- Norén-Nilsson, A. (2016). Elections and Emerging Citizenship in Cambodia. In Berenschot, W., Schulte Nordholt, H. & Bakker, L. (Eds.) Citizenship and Democratization in Southeast Asia (pp. 68-95). Brill.
- Norén-Nilsson, A. (2015). Review of Brothers in Arms. Chinese aid to the Khmer Rouge, 1975-1979 by Andrew Mertha. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 46, 312-314. Cambridge University Press.
Articles in specialist publications and popular press (1)
- Norén-Nilsson, A. (2018). Kambodja : en ny enpartistat. Världspolitikens dagsfrågor, 2018, 2-26. Utrikespolitiska Institutet, Stockholm.
- Norén-Nilsson, A. (2020). Cambodia's year of political limbo. East Asia Forum.
- Norén-Nilsson, A. (2018). Cambodia : Dispelling the Malaysia illusion. The Interpreter. Lowy Institute.
- Norén-Nilsson, A. (2018). Cambodia : towards July's elections and beyond. Medium. Medium.
- Norén-Nilsson, A. (2018). Cambodia drifts towards autocracy. East Asia Forum. East Asia Forum.
- Norén-Nilsson, A. (2018). Cambodia's government turns the page. East Asia Forum.
- Norén-Nilsson, A. (2017). Cambodian democracy on the ropes. East Asia Forum. East Asia Forum.