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War, Hunger, and Displacement: Volume 2$
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E. Wayne Nafziger, Frances Stewart, and Raimo Väyrynen

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198297406

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198297406.001.0001

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Cambodia: Genocide, Autocracy, and the Overpoliticized State

Cambodia: Genocide, Autocracy, and the Overpoliticized State

(p.53) 3 Cambodia: Genocide, Autocracy, and the Overpoliticized State
War, Hunger, and Displacement: Volume 2

Philippe Le Billon

Karen Bakker

Oxford University Press

During 1975–1979, under the Khmer Rouge regime, over 1.8 million people died due to hunger, disease or murder. Though there were numerous deaths even before the Khmer Rouge regime, these have been overshadowed by the crises happening throughout it. Both politics and economics became unstable during these periods, which resulted in a humanitarian emergency: a profound social crisis in which a large number of people die and suffer from war, disease, hunger, and displacement. However, even after the Khmer Rouge regime, the humanitarian emergency continued, due to the vulnerability of the society to man-made and natural disasters. This continuing crisis of Cambodia is due to its overpoliticized state, which stemmed from the structural weakness of the society as demonstrated by its history. With its ruling elite and Cambodia's autocracy, corruption persisted and factionalism weakened the nation's ability to fight war and retain its basic social services.

Keywords:   Cambodia, Khmer Rouge, humanitarian emergency, genocide, autocracy, overpoliticized state, factionalism

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