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A Diachronic Analysis of the Process of Heritage Management in Cambodia
The Angkor World Heritage Area (AWHA) continues to enrapture minds and hearts. Following Cambodia's civil war, the preservation of its magnificent monuments has developed into a billion-dollar industry with investors from around the world. Since 1993, more than 36 countries, 12 intergovernmental groups and 38 international teams have contributed millions of dollars to conservation, restoration, research and sustainable development projects in the AWHA.
Sustained foreign investment has created a cycle of state dependency on tourism to the Angkor sites, placing high demands on foreign aid to conserve the sites, develop the tourism sector, rectify damage to the sites from tourism, and foster off the beaten track excavations.
Within this unstable environment, the varied interests of International Agencies (under UNESCO's ICC-Angkor umbrella), and the local APSARA National Authority (APSARA) reveal an imbalance of technical and financial capacity on the ground.
Inspired by the work of James Ferguson's “Anti-Politics Machine”, this research examines the social effect of an international development apparatus for heritage management in Cambodia. While addressing cultural barriers within international teams, between locals and remote stakeholders and in contrasting conservation styles, this work reveals that competing values and priorities among stakeholders disable the success of site management systems in the Angkor Park.
Importantly, with adherence to the mandate and articles presented in the 1972 World Heritage Convention, this work addresses the extent to which Article 5(e), a policy established to foster national capacity building, has been fulfilled in the country of Cambodia. How active have States Parties been in their efforts to support the Cambodian capacity to protect, conserve and present their heritage?
This critical research suggests ways in which international capacity-building strategies can be tailored to address cultural priorities on the ground, with suggestions toward best practices Cambodia’s other WHS properties: Preah Vihear (2008) and Sambor Prei Kuk (2017).
Supervisors: prof. dr. M.F. Herzfeld and dr. P.M.F. Peycam
(2014-Present): Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS), PhD Candidate in Area Studies
Dissertation Thesis: Angkorean temple diagrams: 8-12th centuries AD
(2012-2014): Australian National University, School of Culture, History and Language PhD Candidate in Archaeology and Natural History
PhD Research: Analysis of Angkorean compliance with Pallava architectural treatise between the 9th-12th centuries AD.
- Presented work at departmental conferences in Australia (2013)
- Awarded private foundation scholarship and department travel award for research abroad (2013)
(2011-2012): Université de Montréal, PhD Student in the Faculté de l'aménagement
PhD Research: A Study of the Effectiveness of World Heritage Policies in
the Conservation, Protection and Management of World Heritage in Cambodia.
- Assisted former UNESCO Chairperson Dr. Christina Cameron with the
Publication: History of the World Heritage Convention of UNESCO 1972-2000.
- Transcribed interviews with former WHC members.
(2009-2011): University of British Columbia, Institute of Asian Research in the College of Interdisciplinary Studies
MA Graduate of Policy Studies
MA Thesis• An Ethnography of UNESCO
- 3 Month Internship with UNESCO Bangkok in the APEID ICT-in-Education Unit and HIV/AIDS Unit
-Ethics representative for MAPPS (Masters in Asian-Pacific Policy Studies) student cohort (2009-2011)
-Started UBC-based NGO with support of the Director of the Institute of Asian Research and 4 affiliate professors from the Center for Southeast Asian Research -Led 1-year UBC-wide initiative to attract attention and fundraising toward preliminary de-mining and archaeological survey in Cambodia (2010)
-Awarded Simon K Yee Global Award (2010) and CARE-UBC Award (2010) Finalist for YMCA Power of Peace Award (2010)
-Conference Planner, “Buddhism in Canada: Global Causes, Local Conditions”
(2003-2009): University of British Columbia
Awarded Double-Major Bachelor Degree (2009)
1) Anthropology (2009)
- Completed all available courses in anthropological theory
- Concentration on applied ethnography and medical anthropology
- Linguistic components: Spanish and French language
2) Asian Area Studies (2008)
- Philosophical, literary and historical developments of Asian societies
- Colonial and corporate frameworks in the Asia-Pacific
- Specific focus on ancient Southeast Asian-Indian economic relations
- Linguistic component: Sanskrit language
Publications / Conferences
- "How can World Heritage management plans honor indigenous and human rights in World Heritage areas?”- Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) Conference. Selkirk College (2016)
- “Using interdisciplinarity to enhance our understanding of ancient ritual at Preah Vihear”- CSEAR Southeast Asian Graduate Conference. UBC Vancouver (2016)
- Pinned to the Dangrek, the Vastupurusa Shines. Conference Poster presented at the ANU Manning Theatre. Golson Lecture/PhD Showcase (2014)
- Many Voices, One Vision: the Early Years of the World Heritage Convention. UdeM- Faculte de L’Amenagement (2013) – Research Team
- War and Health Next Gen University on-line course (2013)
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)