An institutional palimpsest? the case of Cambodia’s political order, 1970 and beyond

Miguel Pina e Cunha*, Arménio Rego, Álvaro Ferreira da Silva, Stewart Clegg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


How do continuity and change coexist and coevolve? How does continuity enable change and change reinforce continuity? These are central questions in organizational and political research, as organizational and institutional systems benefit from the presence of both reproduction and transformation. However, the relation between the processes of change and continuity still raises significant questions. To contribute to this discussion, we analyse the coexistence of deep institutional continuity and radical political change in the second half of twentieth-century Cambodia. Over a two-decade period, Cambodia was ruled by radically different political systems of organization: a traditional monarchy with feudal characteristics, a failing republic, a totalitarian communist regime, and a Vietnamese protectorate, before being governed by the UN and finally becoming a constitutional monarchy. We use an historical approach to study how a succession of radical changes may in reality signal deep lines of continuity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-455
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Political Power
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Change as continuity
  • Change as discontinuity
  • Institutional change
  • Khmer Rouge
  • State reforms


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