Change seemed to be in the air just four years ago in Cambodia. In a country with an extremely young average age, civil society appeared to be reawakening after almost 30 years of the authoritarian regime of Hun Sen. A new opposition group had caused alarm amongst the ruling party by almost winning the elections. Cambodia’s citizens were being galvanised and emboldened in their social aspirations. There was talk of a “Cambodian Spring”, and a palpable sense that changes were afoot. Change has now arrived, but it is the opposite of what was expected.

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