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"Tortyr, terror och gränslös grymhet": En mikrohistorisk ögonvittnesskildring av konflikten i Kambodja mellan 1975-1978
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication.
2020 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
"Torture, terror and limitless savagery" : A micro historic eyewitness description of the conflict in Cambodia between 1975-1978 (English)
Abstract [en]

Saloth Sar, also known by the notorious name Pol Pot marched as a winner with his communist party on April the 17th(1975), into the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. This was the beginning of what would become one of the most horrible and brutal genocides in history. The courageous individuals who managed to escape the regime, bravely shared their life experiences and helped enlightening the world concerning the conflict and power relations in Cambodia.

The main purpose of this study was to elucidate how eyewitnesses, between 1975-1978, portrayed and experienced the conflict in Cambodia. The regime’s disciplinary methods and punishments is in focus. In addition, the secondary purpose was to figure out how the French philosopher Michel Foucault’s power theories of disciplinary and punitive methods were expressed during the conflict. In order to fulfil the purpose, a qualitative, micro historic study has been conducted to review documents containing statements and interviews, compiled by the United Nations in 1978.

What emerged along the course of the study was that the methods, most often used as punishment, were mainly executions and corporal punishments, such as torture. The eyewitnesses illustrated that the Cambodian population was subjected to the abuses mentioned above, due to either violation of fictional laws, for instance, showing love to another person or arriving late to work. The study also illustrates how spies of the regime were hiding everywhere in the Cambodian society and were mainly used for a disciplining purpose, as they made the Cambodian inhabitants submissive. 

In conclusion, the Khmer Rouge exercise of power illustrates how the purpose of disciplining techniques and corporal punishments was to generate power, establish control of individuals and maintain discipline. As a result, the Khmer Rouge regime achieved an appended population and reduced deviations from the order. That is why, Khmer Rouge exercise of power can be related to Foucault’s theories concerning punishment, discipline and supervision. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. , p. 40
Keywords [en]
Cambodia, genocide, Pol Pot, micro history, eyewitness, conflict, Kampuchea, Khmer Rouge, terror, torture, Michel Foucault, Power theories, United Nations
National Category
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-47720ISRN: JU-HLK-HIA-1-20200124OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-47720DiVA, id: diva2:1391113
Subject / course
HLK, History
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2020-02-04 Created: 2020-02-03 Last updated: 2020-02-04Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf