A Tiger Rules the Mountain

Gordon Conochie

A Tiger Rules the Mountain
Monash University Publishing
1 July 2023

A Tiger Rules the Mountain

Gordon Conochie

Cambodia’s Hun Sen is the world’s longest-serving prime minister, in power since 1985. In 2013, Sen’s rule came under threat when the exiled opposition leader, Sam Rainsy, unexpectedly returned just before a national election. One hundred thousand supporters hailed him at the airport as protests swept the country. On election day, millions voted for change. This narrative non-fiction account tells the dramatic story of that election and the subsequent multi-year wrestle for power, right through to the dramatic events of the present day.

This is Cambodia through the lens of the human stories. Gordon Conochie lived and worked in the country and interviewed many involved in the events, including government officials, journalists, young human-rights activists and opposition politicians. The story he finds is both complex and riveting: Cambodia’s history is riven with trauma yet there is a powerful and swelling appetite for change. Looking ahead to Cambodia’s future and the role of democracy in South-East Asia, Conochie examines whether we will continue to see a backslide in liberal democracy or if the region could gradually be on the path to a more liberal future.

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