Everything but democracy and human rights : EU conditionality in Cambodia : effectiveness of EU conditionality as a mechanism to promote democracy and human rights in Cambodia in the context of the everything but arms agreement withdrawal.
Thesis DisciplineEuropean Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Development assistance is a vital feature of the international system in the pursuit of a better world for all. The European Union (EU) and its Member States form one of the world’s largest development aid donor body’s, particularly in the championing of the values of democracy, human rights and rule of law. The effectiveness of aid has been a central theme in development studies for a number of years with research producing mixed results. Aid effectiveness is reliant on a number of interlacing and fragile factors, therefore how development aid is delivered and what forms it takes is important.
Conditionality has been used as mechanism to help achieve better standards of these values through aid, particularly through the EU’s Aid for Trade (AfT) agreements such as the Everything but Arms Agreement (EBA). The EBA is a preferential trade scheme that supports Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in becoming economically self-‐sustainable through increased capacity and access to the global trading system.
This thesis uses Cambodia as a case study to investigate whether the EU has been effective at promoting the values of democracy and human rights through the use of conditionality. The question will be examined in light of the 2018 Cambodia Election, after which the EU launched the procedure to withdraw the EBA from Cambodia based on “serious and systemic violations of democratic and human rights principles” (European Commission, 2019). The research aims to answer the question of whether the EU has been effective in its promotion of democracy and human rights and whether it’s appropriate to attach these kinds of conditions to aid in a cross-‐cultural context, as well as investigating the relationship between preferential trade agreements and democracy and human rights.