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S. Samphoas Im, PhD


I am a political scientist by training (and an interdisciplinary social scientist) whose research focuses primarily on Cambodia and Southeast Asia. My research interests lie in the fields of comparative politics, authoritarian politics, political strategies, social welfare policies, and Cambodia-China relations. My current research strives to demonstrate how the long-ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) implemented various concrete reforms to improve the image of its government, thus promoting its legitimacy and strengthening its autocratic regime.

I am an Associate Director with the Asian Studies Center (ASN) at Michigan State University as well as an Affiliated Scholar with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) at the University of Michigan. I am also a Visiting Scholar, 2023-24 Lee Kong Chian NUS-Stanford Fellow on Southeast Asia at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC), Stanford University and at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore (NUS). While at Stanford and NUS, I am working on a book manuscript provisionally entitled “Authoritarian Resiliency: The Politics of Social Protection Policy in Cambodia.”

My scholarly works have been supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through The Asia Foundation and the Center for Khmer Studies, the Open Society Foundations, the American Association of University Women, the East-West Center, and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute.  

My writings have appeared in journals such as Research on Ageing and Social Policy, Journal of Industrial Relations, Asian Politics & Policy, Annals of Tourism Research Empirical Insights, Asian Studies Review, and forthcoming in Routledge Handbook of Autocratization in Southeast Asia, Politics & Policy, Southeast Asian Studies, Pacific Affairs, and Social Policy & Administration. 

I hold a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Political Science specializing in Social Policy Analysis and Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, an M.Sc. in Defense, Development and Diplomacy from Durham University, and a B.A. in International Relations from Pannasastra University of Cambodia and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

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