III-1.”State Formation and Local Communities: A Comprehensive Study Based on the Cambodian Official Gazette”(H22-23 FY2010-2011)

  • Project Leader : Sasagawa Hideo (College of Asia Pacific Studies, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University)
  • Collaborators : Takahashi Miwa (College of Human and Cultural Sciences, Aikoku Gakuen University)
  • : Takahashi Hiroaki (Department of International Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Cultures, Tokai University)
  • : Kitagawa Takako (Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo)
  • : Yagura Kenjiro (Faculty of Economics, Hannan University)
  • : Kobayashi Satoru (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)
  • : Yamada Hiroshi (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo)
  • : Kasaya Yushi (Research and Education Center for Japanese Law, Nagoya University)

Outline of Research

The Cambodian official gazette, which has periodically compiled various decrees and personnel changes, is quite an important document for historical studies on modern and contemporary Cambodia. The Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University possesses its Khmer version issued from 1985 . This research project purchased the French version (1904–15 and 1945 –73) microfilmed by the National Archives of Cambodia, and integrates the achievements based on the analysis of the gazette and the results of fieldwork in order to elucidate the process of state formation and the transformation of local communities in Cambodia.


Combining the findings deduced from historical documents such as the official gazette and those of social scientists who have carried out fieldwork, this research project will scrutinize from a long-term perspective, how the modern state of Cambodia has been constructed and how state formation has influenced ordinary people’s ways of living in local societies.

The significance of this project is twofold: The preparation of documents and the development of methodology in the academic field of Area Studies. On one hand, now that the Center for Southeast Asian Studies owns the Khmer version of the Cambodian official gazette from 1985, it will be of vital importance for researchers that the Center stores its French version, an indispensable document for comparative studies on the state formation in other Southeast Asian countries than Cambodia and those on French colonialism and its rule. On the other hand, we also have a plan to tackle the issues of uniting studies on written documents and social research and of adopting the recent progress of Area Informatics, while discussing and publishing the results of our research.

Previous studies on Cambodia have not fully explored the contents of the official gazette, so it is hoped that the project members will publish highly original articles. Furthermore this project will revisit the process of forming modern societies and rejuvenate Area Studies on Southeast Asia, because Cambodia has a unique experience of state formation and the transformation of local communities twice owing to breaking off under the Pol Pot regime.

The French and Khmer versions of the Cambodian official gazettes preserved at the National Archives of Cambodia

Voters waiting to cast their votes on the 4th general election of the Cambodian National Assembly on July 27, 2008