Cambodia after decollectivization (1989-1992).
During the 1980s, the Government of the People's Republic of Kampuchea (PRK) struggled to rebuild, with very limited resources, a country in ruins after ten years of civil war, foreign invasions, bombardments and Democratic Kampuchea experiments in ultra-collectivization. With Vietnamese guidance, economic reconstruction was conducted within a socialist framework. In particular, a collectivization of the agricultural sector was deemed necessary by the PRK Government and its Vietnamese advisers. The paper assesses what happened in Cambodia after collectivization was officially abandoned in 1989. It is divided into four parts. The first part analyses the land reform adopted in the PRK in the spring of 1989. It shows how the land reform was presented to the Cambodian public in the official newspapers Kampuchea and Pracheachon (The People) and on the official radio station, and how it was used by the PRK Government as a tool to attract popular support. The second part examines the work of the Cadastral Department which was set up in June 1989 to monitor land surveying and registration, while the third part assesses the consequences of decollectivization for the Cambodian peasants, particularly for the poorer among them who were the principal victims of the change of policy. Finally by comparing the situation of the Cambodian countryside in 1992 with its situation in the 1950s/1960s, the fourth part of the paper tries to assess the legacy of fourteen years of forced collectivization on Cambodian mentality, behaviour and work practices. The paper concludes that as soon as the Cambodians were given the opportunity to return to traditional practices and behaviour, good and bad, they did so, showing their resistance and adaptation to unwanted change and their resilience in a period of adversity.