Seeking a way out of the dark: An interdisciplinary research on the reconciliation process after the Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979.
MetadataShow full item record
Various scholars have expressed their concern about the Cambodian reconciliation process after the Cambodian genocide between 1975 and 1979. According to them, this process seems to move with such slow pace. Even though this thesis argues that reconciliation should not be seen as an isolated act or event and that there is a certain danger in talking about reconciliation in terms of strict sequences, our literature research pointed to several challenges that the Cambodian reconciliation process is facing. This thesis examines how the difficult course of the Cambodian reconciliation process from 1979 till the present, can be explained in different levels of analysis (macro, meso and micro). In this interdisciplinary research, we integrated the valuable insights of the disciplines International Relations, Cultural Anthropology, and Cognitive and Neurobiological Psychology in order to answer the research question. This more comprehensive understanding explains that the difficult course of the Cambodian reconciliation process can partly be explained by means of two main factors: the dynamics of trauma, which is a contributing force for reconciliation, and the significant friction between the Cambodian model and ‘other’ models of reconciliation. Subsequently, to make reconciliation discourses more effective, we argue that there should be paid more attention to the different models and perceptions concerning the implementation of reconciliation practices. In addition, reconciliation is never a theoretical matter, but always happens in a specific context. Each case must be addressed on its own terms, recognizing the contextual particularities of a society.