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Modern Cambodia’s Emergence from the Killing Fields: What Happened in the Critical Years?

Book talk by Michael Haas, Professor of Political Science and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Based on exclusive interviews with diplomats of a dozen countries, representatives of all four Cambodian factions, as well as journalists and scholars, Modern Cambodia’s Emergence from the Killing Fields provides a unique picture of the courage of the proud Cambodian people in carrying out the mandate of the United Nations’ first effort to bring peace to a country by organizing and running elections. This book identifies heroes and villains of that unique transition, a model for future situations, showing how the Cambodian people impressed the world by overcoming horrors of genocidal Khmer Rouge rule.

In 1975, the murderous Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia. About 2 million innocents died by 1979, when Vietnam’s army swept Pol Pot from the country. In 1993, free elections were held, and a new government was in operation by 1994. What happened in the critical years from 1979 to 1994? This book uniquely tells that story.

Chapters deal with such topics as diplomacy, economics, humanitarian aid, politics, and war crimes. Probing questions are posed:
•         Who died in Cambodia’s 6 holocausts?
•         Which aid agencies assisted Cambodians to escape from famine and starvation? Did the Khmer Rouge get Western aid?
•         Why did the Paris peace conference of 1989 fail?
•         What changed to bring about the peace agreement in 1991?
•         Was the UN transitional role in Cambodia a success? A failure?
•         What was the outcome of the 1993 election for various groups?
•         What were Cambodia’s economic prospects as of 1994?
•         What lessons should be learned from the Cambodian conflict?
•         Who committed war crimes against Cambodia?

The author, political scientist Michael Haas, is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee for his work on behalf of human rights. He has taught at Northwestern University, Purdue University, the University of  California, the University of London, six California State University campuses, and the University of Hawai‘i. This is his 46th book.

Books will be available for sale.

Cost : Free and open to the public.


Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies

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