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Brokering, Bargaining and Building for the Transformation of Cambodia: A Study on Cambodian French Returnees as Institutional Entrepreneurs


  • Gea D.M. Wijers

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)


The Cambodian French community remains “in the shadows” as the dynamics of Cambodian French community life and choices on remigration are still little studied or understood. This paper explores the experiences of Cambodian French returnees that try to contribute to the transformation of Cambodia by fulfilling their ambitions to “do good” as institutional entrepreneurs. The multisited research is designed as a comparative multiple case-study. Data is collected, primarily, through conversations with individual informants from the Lyonnese and Parisian Cambodian community, and extensive case studies on selected key informants in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This article describes the contradictory dynamics of returnee institutional entrepreneurs stuck in the Paradox of Embeddedness, trying to change the societal structures within which they also have to find social legitimacy. Findings propose that solutions to the dynamics of this Paradox should be explored through the threefold activities of returnees’ brokering, bargaining and building upon return to Cambodia.

Suggested Citation

  • Gea D.M. Wijers, 2013. "Brokering, Bargaining and Building for the Transformation of Cambodia: A Study on Cambodian French Returnees as Institutional Entrepreneurs," Institutions and Economies (formerly known as International Journal of Institutions and Economies), Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, vol. 5(3), pages 75-96, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:umk:journl:v:5:y:2013:i:3:p:75-96

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    Cambodia; Development; Entrepreneurship; International migration; Southeast Asia; Network formation and analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation


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