Year published :December 2023
Pages :400 pp., paperback
Size :15 x 23 cm.
Black & White illustrations :10 illus., 1 map
Cambodia’s Trials: Contrasting Visions of Truth, Transitional Justice and National Recoveryby NIAS Press
Edited by Robin Biddulph and Alexandra Kent
More than four decades have passed since the end of Khmer Rouge rule in Cambodia in 1979. Even so, the country is still coming to terms with the destruction wrought in the decade when the Khmer Rouge won and held power and, thereafter, during their guerrilla resistance to the new regime in Phnom Penh until 1998. The Khmer Rouge Tribunal (or Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia, ECCC), established in 2006 to bring the Khmer Rouge leadership to justice, has long been the focus of scholarly attention in Cambodia’s recovery. In many ways a product of the 1990s, a time when liberal democracy appeared to be on the rise both in Cambodia and internationally, the ECCC was imagined as a ‘Transitional Justice’ initiative – while delivering justice it should also ease the transition to liberal democracy. This compelling study argues that approach is dated. The political circumstances in which the ECCC was born have changed profoundly, both globally and locally. No longer can Cambodia’s current situation be analysed solely in terms of transitional justice narratives or the work of the ECCC. Other ways in which Cambodians have come to terms with their past, and built new lives, must also be considered. Decentring the ECCC in the scholarly narrative of Cambodia’s recovery, the volume’s authors offer fascinating new insights into the Khmer Rouge period and more recent years of social, cultural and political change in Cambodia.
About the Editors
Alexandra Kent is an associate professor in social anthropology at the University of Gothenburg. She has explored the relationship between religion, politics, gender, healing and security in India, Malaysia and Cambodia, her most recent research being on Cambodians’ understandings of justice in the aftermath of conflict.
Robin Biddulph is an associate professor in human geography at the University of Gothenburg. He is mainly interested in the relationships between land tenure and social justice, which he has explored in Cambodia, Tanzania and Sweden. Earlier, he lived in Cambodia where he worked as a lecturer, conducted humanitarian mine-clearance and was a policy researcher.