Book Review: T.P. Sreenivasan. 2014. Applied Diplomacy: Through the Prism of Mythology

Published date01 December 2015
Date01 December 2015
Subject MatterBook Reviews
352 Book Reviews
Ultimately, Strangio’s book impressively marks a milestone in its research,
prose, critical examination of the Hun Sen regime and use of numerous, revealing
interviews. Though it would have helped if Strangio had been able to interview
Hun Sen himself, he nevertheless offers a worthy analysis. However, this book
would have been more valuable if Strangio had been able to glean even more
critical information about Hun Sen. First, exactly what role did the young Hun Sen
play under the Khmer Rouge and could this be a reason for his reticence in main-
taining the Khmer Rouge tribunals? Second, exactly how does Hun Sen coordi-
nate control over the inner workings of the CPP and the armed forces? Third, why
has authoritarian Prime Minister Hun Sen persisted in using a democratic model
for his nation (despite deficiencies)? Fourth, could Strangio elaborate more on the
personal life of Hun Sen? Finally, after over three decades in power, what sustains
the popularity of Hun Sen? Though obtaining the answers to these questions
might be difficult, and publishing a book that directly addresses them would be
impossible inside CPP-dominated Cambodia (Strangio resides in Phnom Penh),
there is currently the need for the work, which looks at Hun Sen even more
unflinchingly. Though Hun Sen’s Cambodia almost approximates such an opus, it
unfortunately falls short in several aspects.
Garment Manufacturers’ Association in Cambodia (GMC). (2010). GMAC Annual Bulletin
2010. Retrieved 15 January 2015, from
Hiebert, Murry, & Nguyen, Phuong. (2014, February). Cambodian regime realigns
its foreign relations. Yale Global Online 4. Retrieved 10 January 2015, from http://
Meyn, Colin, & Reaksmey, Hul. (2013, December 2). Report shows election irregularities
favored CPP. Cambodia Daily. Retrieved 12 January 2015, from https://www.
Paul Chambers
Institute for Southeast Asian Affairs
Chiang Mai University, Thailand, and
Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, Cambodia
T.P. Sreenivasan. 2014. Applied Diplomacy: Through the Prism of
Mythology. Ed. Divya S. Iyer. New Delhi, India: Wisdom Tree. 311 pp.
ISBN: 978-81-8328-381-6
DOI: 10.1177/2347797015601923
Applied Diplomacy: Through the Prism of Mythology is a collection of articles and
lectures of T.P. Sreenivasan, a former Indian Ambassador. This book, which carries

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