Duncan McCargo speaks with Astrid Noren-Nilsson for New Books in Southeast Asian Studieson the sidelines of the 2017 EuroSEAS conference at the University of Oxford, where Cambodia’s Second Kingdom was shortlisted for the EuroSEAS social science book prize.

Billed as “an exploration of the role of nationalist imaginings, discourses, and narratives in Cambodia since the 1993 reintroduction of a multiparty democratic system,” Cambodia’s Second Kingdom: Nation, Imagination, and Democracy (Cornell Southeast Asia Program, 2016) pays special attention to how competing nationalistic imaginings are a prominent part of contestation in the country’s post-war reconstruction politics. These imaginings, the book’s author Astrid Noren-Nilsson argues, constitute resources with which parties obtain popular support and win elections. In making her case, she draws on an impressive array of primary sources, including extensive interview data with members of Cambodia’s political elite.

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