In Search of Hun Manet’s Bristol University PhD Thesis

In 2009, Cambodia’s new prime minister was awarded a doctorate in economics – but it is nearly impossible to access his thesis.

The PhD thesis written by Hun Manet, who took over as Cambodian prime minister from his father Hun Sen last month, is harder to obtain than you might think.

Hun Manet was awarded a PhD by Bristol University in the U.K. in 2009 for his dissertation entitled, “What determines the firm size distribution and structural integration? A cross-county study.”

The thesis supervisor Jonathan Temple, who has since left the university, told me that the work was an econometric study of firm-size distribution measuring the relative importance of small and medium-sized companies across different countries. It was not, Temple added, specifically about Cambodia. The role of the supervisor is to oversee the progress of the research, and in no case would a supervisor be among the examiners who decide whether a PhD is awarded.

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