Decentralised Governance in a Hybrid Policy: Localisation of Decentralisation Reform in Cambodia
This paper reviews the progress of the decentralisation and deconcentration (D&D) reform in Cambodia. It revisits the conflicting positive and negative views on the achievements of the reform in the literature. The goal of the reform is twofold: promotion of local democracy and improvement of local service delivery. Both of these goals are theoretically related to the assumption that decentralisation brings about various social, economic and political benefits through the enhancement of local government’s accountability and responsiveness, people’s participation in local development planning and improved representation of marginalised people. The findings suggest that there has been some good progress in the reform; however, the achievements are far from being uniform and linear, as is theoretically assumed. Instead, possible changes and achievements have been localised in the Cambodian hybrid political context1 and the general environment within which decentralisation takes place.