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State-diaspora relations in illiberal contexts: the case of the Vietnamese diaspora in Cambodia

Canzutti, Lucrezia (2018) State-diaspora relations in illiberal contexts: the case of the Vietnamese diaspora in Cambodia. PhD thesis, University of York.

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The thesis investigates the reasons, modalities, and consequences of the Cambodian and Vietnamese governments’ engagement with the Vietnamese diaspora in Cambodia. The case of the Vietnamese in Cambodia is of particular interest because, unlike most existing studies on state-diaspora relations, it examines a group which stands between two illiberal countries and, partly as a consequence of this, does not represent a significant threat and/or resource to either the host-state or the homeland. Furthermore, despite having lived in the host-state for generations, the Vietnamese in Cambodia have been unable to access Cambodian citizenship and hold virtually no documents from Vietnam: they are de facto stateless. This thesis seeks to answer two, interrelated questions: how do the Cambodian state and the Vietnamese state perceive of and engage with the Vietnamese diaspora in Cambodia? What are the implications of their engagement on this diaspora’s enjoyment of citizenship? To answer these questions, the research uses documentary sources from the two governments and eighty-three in-depth interviews with Vietnamese villagers, members of the Association of Khmer-Vietnamese in the Kingdom of Cambodia (AKVKC), representatives of the Cambodian government, experts, and representatives of civil society organisations. Departing from existing perspectives on state-diaspora relations, the thesis argues that the governments of Cambodia and Vietnam have viewed the diaspora as “inconvenient subjects” and engaged, respectively, in the bounded exclusion and the bounded inclusion of the group. Rather than taking full responsibility of the diaspora, the Cambodian and Vietnamese governments have shared the custody of the Vietnamese, alternating care and control and co-governing it through the work of the AKVKC. This deliberately ambiguous strategy has resulted in the Vietnamese’ de facto enjoyment of some citizens’ rights in Cambodia and Vietnam; yet, it has also (re)produced a multi-level liminal space in which the Vietnamese are more easily governable.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Politics (York)
Depositing User: Miss Lucrezia Canzutti
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 16:33
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2018 16:33
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21998

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