The Khmer Rouge Tribunal and the Legacy of Genocide in Cambodia

Faculty Mentor(s): 
David Cohen (Rhetoric and Director, War Crimes Studies Center)
Student Apprentice(s): 
Stephanie Lowe

The project focused on a study of the perceptions of the 2006 Khmer Rouge Tribunal, of the challenges it faces, and the impact that the trials of Khmer Rouge leaders is likely to have in Cambodia.

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal will prosecute those “most responsible” for the Cambodian genocide perpetrated by the Pol Pot regime in 1975-1979. The trials of the tribunal raise a wide variety of important issues, including: the wisdom of investing so much money, so many years after the fact, in a desperately poor country; the impact of the politics of memory on the trial process; and the capacity of the trials to contribute to reconciliation in Cambodia.

The basic research plan involved the apprentice, Stephanie Lowe, spending two months in Phnom Penh conducting in-depth interviews with participants in and observers of the tribunal. Upon returning to Berkeley, she spent a month writing up the results of the research in the form of a report placed on the web site of the War Crimes Studies Center.