Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Phnom Penh's urban poor : livelihoods, housing and the failure of Cambodian development
Author: McMahon, Philippa Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 7096
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
Cambodia is a predominantly rural country with only 20 per cent of the population (3.2 million), living in urban areas. Of this 3.2 million however, over 50 per cent live in overcrowded, poorly constructed dwellings lacking basic infrastructure such as running water, electricity or sanitation. However due to the dominance of aid and assistance to rural areas and the expectation that those living in urban areas share in the wealth of the city, urban poverty is overlooked in Cambodia. This belief is reinforced as agricultural produce has been over taken by the services and manufacturing industries in the Cambodian economy; industries concentrated in urban areas. This thesis addresses the deficit in urban poverty research by using a political economy perspective to investigate livelihoods and housing concerns of the urban poor, in the context of neoliberal development. Research undertaken for this thesis was guided by two research questions; first, who are the urban poor and what resources do they rely upon? And second, does development policy address the needs of the urban poor? Doctoral fieldwork was conducted in Phnom Penh 2011- 2012. Key informant interviews with tuktuk drivers and stakeholders were conducted alongside life history interviews and a household survey in three urban poor settlements facing forced eviction and four resettlement sites. Assumptions concerning the informal economy underpinning urban poverty and urban poor livelihoods are deconstructed. Following mixed methods analysis; a more nuanced understanding of urban poor livelihoods is argued for and reinforced through two new terms, the urban poor economy and horizontal regulation. It is proposed that policy makers have failed to recognise the reality of urban poverty in which the relationship between where one lives and where one works is of the utmost importance. This failure exposes development plans as little more than rhetoric to attract foreign aid and investment. Combined with the exploitation of the urban poor by corrupt government officials more concerned with the accumulation of personal wealth, urban poverty alleviation efforts are undermined from their conception through to implementation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral