Reconciliation: The Conditions of Possibility that Enable Practices in the Anlong Veng Community, Cambodia


The purpose of this paper is to analyse the conditions of possibility that enable practices of reconciliation in the Anlong Veng community, Cambodia. A qualitative method including secondary data analysis as well as field research interviews is being employed. The practices – i.e. negotiation – have been taken into consideration the discourse of power relations for many years but have not been theorized as elements of reconciliation. Several scholars point out the processes of reconciliation in Cambodia in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge (KR) regime and civil war, emphasizing how the roles of both state and non-state actors rehabilitate the relationships between different Cambodian adversaries, and rural Cambodians (including victims, perpetrators and bystanders) overcome the trauma from the KR period and live peacefully side-by-side in their villages. Relating the practices that enable reconciliation in the context of Anlong Veng, the strongest KR military front and the final KR stronghold in the 1990s, this paper defines the conditions of possibility as discursive practices to dialogue space, collective memory, and truth-seeking/regimes of truth. This paper regards the dialogue space as a central component, which reveals the narratives in reconciliation process. The investigation of the conditions of possibility that enable practices of reconciliation, this paper looks at: multiple negotiations (safety guarantee, amnesty, truth building), forgiveness (apology, acknowledgement and confession, compassion and empathy, forgetting), and Buddhism/belief perspective (self-healing).

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Sovann Mam

Paper Information
Conference: APSec2016
Stream: Strategy and Warfare

This paper is part of the APSec2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon