Faculty and Staff Directory

Kheang Un

Kheang Un

Comparative politics, Cambodian politics, Political economy of the developing world, democracy and democratization, human rights.

Zulauf Hall 411

Overview of Scholarly Activity

Kheang Un (Ph.D. Northern Illinois University) is a professor of Political Science. His teaching and research interests include democracy, democratization, human rights, non-governmental organizations and political economy focusing on Cambodia and the developing world. In 2008-2009 he was a visiting research fellow at the University of Louisville's Center for Asian Democracy; in 2010, he was a visiting scholar at the Netherland's Royal Institute for Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies at Leiden University, and in 2011-12, he was a Fulbright Scholar based at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He has consulted on issues of political economy, governance reform and democracy for the World Bank, the Department of International Development of the United Kingdom, AusAid, UNDP/the Cambodia Development Resource Institute, the United States Department of State and London-based Overseas Development Institute. He also serves as research advisor to the Cambodia Development Resource Institute and as a board member of Cambodia Development Center, Build Cambodia, a U.S. based non-profit organization and an academic advisor for the Center for Khmer Studies, Cambodia. From 2008 to 2011, he was an in-country coordinator for tracking development, a multidisciplinary and multi-country project based at Leiden University, examining the trajectory of development in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Through this project, Professor Un has developed comparative analysis of the politics and political economy of Uganda and Cambodia.

Selected Publications

Luo, Jing Jing, and Kheang Un. "China's Role in the Cambodian People's Party's Quest for Legitimacy." Contemporary Southeast Asia 43, no. 2 (2021): 395-419.

Un, Kheang. Cambodia: Return to Authoritarianism. Cambridge University Press, 2019.

Beban, Alice, Sokbunthoeun So, and Kheang Un. "From Force to Legitimation: Rethinking Land Grabs in Cambodia." Development and Change 48, no. 3 (2017): 590-612.

McCarthy, Stephen, and Kheang Un. "The Evolution of Rule of Law in Cambodia." Democratization 24, no. 1 (2017): 100-118.

Un, Kheang. "The Khmer Rouge Tribunal: A Politically Compromised Search for Justice." The Journal of Asian Studies 72, no. 4 (2013): 783-792.

Un, Kheang. " Cambodian People Have Spoken," OP ED, The New York Times, August 9, 2013.

Un, Kheang. " Rhetoric and Reality of Rural Road Building: Two Tales from Cambodia and Uganda." In Bernard Berendsen et. al., Asian Tigers, African Lions: Comparing the Development Performance of Southeast Asia and Africa. Brill Press, 2013.

Un, Kheang. "Cambodia: Moving Away From Democracy?." International Political Science Review 32, no. 5 (2011): 546-562.

Hughes, Caroline, and Kheang Un. Cambodia's Economic Transformation. Nias Press, 2011.

Un, Kheang, and Sokbunthoeun So. "Land rights in Cambodia: How Neopatrimonial Politics Restricts Land Policy Reform." Pacific Affairs 84, no. 2 (2011): 289-308.

Kheang Un "The Judicial System and Democratization in Post-Conflict Cambodia," ed. Kom Ojendal et al. Beyond Democracy in Cambodia: Political Reconstruction in a Post-conflict Society (Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2008).

Un, Kheang. "State, Society and Democratic Consolidation: The Case of Cambodia." Pacific Affairs 79, no. 2 (2006): 225-246.

Un, Kheang. "Patronage Politics and Hybrid Democracy: Political Change in Cambodia, 1993-2003," Asian Perspective 29, no. 2 (2005):204-230.

Ledgerwood, Judy and Kheang Un. "Global Concepts and Local Meaning: Human Rights and Buddhism in Cambodia," Journal of Human Rights 2, no. 4 (2003): 531-550.

Honors Faculty Fellow (2021-2022)

As an Honors Faculty Fellow, Professor Un will teach a seminar on revolt, revolution, genocide in fall 2021 in the University Honors Program. The Honors Faculty Fellowship program identifies faculty eager to teach innovative, exciting seminars of interest to highly-motivated students from across the university.

Contact Us

Department of Political Science
Zulauf Hall 415
815-753-6302 (fax)

Office Hours

Monday - Thursday
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Office works remotely

Connect with us on