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“Independent Cambodian Unionism: Caught Between Representation and Apathy”

I will be presenting a paper at the Association of Asian Studies‘ 70th annual conference, here in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii, tomorrow, Thursday March 31st.

The title is “Independent Cambodian Unionism: Caught Between Representation and Apathy,” and explores the dynamics of independent unions in Cambodia from the perspective of organizational form and institutional authority. I focus especially on the September 2010 strike, which brought an estimated 210,000 workers into the streets of Phnom Penh (out of an estimated, nation-wide total of 350,000 garment workers), and seemed about to win a massive victory, when it was suddenly called off.

The panel is organized by Samantha Christiansen of Northeastern University, and includes contributions from George Katsiaficas (also chairing), Na Kahn-chae, Shane Gunderson, and Helen Delfeld. It looks to be very good indeed.

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2 thoughts on ““Independent Cambodian Unionism: Caught Between Representation and Apathy”

  1. Thanks! The panel was excellent. My contribution went well, though I don’t think it was a significant contribution to the field or disciplines. I focused on September 2010’s massive strike in Cambodian garment industry, and examined the reasons for its sudden failure from the point of view of the context of the major actors (Manufacturers, Workers, Political Parties, and Labor Unions), and identified the charismatic and leader-oriented union culture as a major reason for the strike’s sudden demise.

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