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The Making of the Modern Refugee$
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Peter Gatrell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199674169.001.0001

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‘Villages of Discipline’ Revolutionary Change and Refugees in South-East Asia

‘Villages of Discipline’ Revolutionary Change and Refugees in South-East Asia

(p.203) 7 ‘Villages of Discipline’ Revolutionary Change and Refugees in South-East Asia
The Making of the Modern Refugee

Peter Gatrell

Oxford University Press

Revolution and class struggle in Vietnam and Cambodia in the third quarter of the twentieth century were the mainsprings of population displacement. Communist victories in South Vietnam, Cambodia (Kampuchea) and Laos in 1975 caused millions of people to leave their homes. Vietnamese refugees made hazardous attempts to flee; the ‘boat people’ who survived cultivated a sense of being doubly victimized, by communist regimes and by the behaviour of camp officials. Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia culminated in a mass exodus to camps along the Thai border of a mixed population of survivors of the genocide and remnants of the Khmer Rouge. Camps provided UNHCR and NGOs with access to Cambodian refugees, but also helped sustain refugee warriors. Subsequent resettlement in third countries generated memoir material about the refugee journey and incarceration; organized tours for refugees also sustain an engagement with ideas of loss and survival.

Keywords:   vietnamese refugees, cambodian refugees, refugee camps, khmer rouge, ‘boat people’, ngos, unhcr, refugee warriors

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