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Violence and the Civilising Process in Cambodia


  • Date Published: November 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107109117

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About the Authors
  • In 1939, the German sociologist Norbert Elias published his groundbreaking work The Civilizing Process, which has come to be regarded as one of the most influential works of sociology today. In this insightful new study tracing the history of violence in Cambodia, the authors evaluate the extent to which Elias's theories can be applied in a non-Western context. Drawing from historical and contemporary archival sources, constabulary statistics, victim surveys and newspaper reports, Broadhurst, Bouhours and Bouhours chart trends and forms of violence throughout Cambodia from the mid-nineteenth century through to the present day. Analysing periods of colonisation, anti-colonial wars, interdependence, civil war, the revolutionary terror of the 1970s and post-conflict development, the authors assess whether violence has decreased and whether such a decline can be attributed to Elias's civilising process, identifying a series of universal factors that have historically reduced violence.

    • Surveys violence in Cambodia from the nineteenth century to the present
    • Considers colonisation, anti-colonial wars, interdependence, civil war, the revolutionary terror of the 1970s and post-conflict development
    • Puts the theories of Norbert Elias to the test in a non-Western context
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107109117
    • length: 382 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.68kg
    • contains: 22 b/w illus. 9 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Resistance of a peasant society
    2. Patterns of pre-modern criminality
    3. Development of the colonial state: modernisation and control
    4. The 'golden age' of the Protectorate 1920–40
    5. The anti-colonial war 1940–55
    6. The golden years of Sihanoukism 1955–66
    7. Criminal states and civil wars 1967–75
    8. The perfect storm: de-civilising state and society 1975–9
    9. Reconstruction in the midst of a civil war: pariahs, bandits, and international accomplices 1979–91
    10. Crime and violence in contemporary Cambodia 1991–2012
    11. Civilising processes and violence in contemporary Cambodia
    12. Discussion

  • Authors

    Roderic Broadhurst, Australian National University, Canberra
    Roderic Broadhurst is Foundation Professor of Criminology at the Australian National University, Canberra and a graduate of the University of Western Australia and the University of Cambridge. He is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Criminology and was formerly Senior Fellow, Crime Research Centre University of Western Australia (1989–94), Associate Professor, the University of Hong Kong (1994–2005), Chair of the Hong Kong Criminology Society (2003–6), and Head of the School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology (2005–8). He was also foundation editor of the Asian Journal of Criminology (2005). His forty-year career as a practitioner, teacher and researcher has included work in prisons, public health, and death investigation. He has contributed widely to the field of criminology in Australia and Asia, and leads the Australian National University Cybercrime Observatory. Recent books include Business and the Risk of Crime in China (2011) and Policing in Context (2009). He has published in the British Journal of Criminology, Survival, Trends in Organized Crime, Homicide Studies and Policing in Society as well chapters in the Oxford Handbook of Organized Crime, Asian Handbook of Criminology, and Transnational Crime. His research has been translated into Chinese, French and Vietnamese, and current work includes research on recidivism and crime in cyberspace.

    Thierry Bouhours, Australian National University, Canberra
    Thierry Bouhours is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Australian National University, Regulatory Institutions Network. He obtained his Ph.D. from Griffith University, Brisbane. His doctoral project adopted a multidisciplinary approach across psychology, education, and criminology to examine the life trajectory of children excluded from primary school. This work was published in 2008 as The Journey of the Excluded: Schooling and Crime in the Exclusive Society. His career has been research-focused with experience in qualitative and quantitative methods. In 2007 his research interests shifted to the comparative analysis of criminal victimisation in South East Asia and China and a long-term project on historical and contemporary patterns of violence and crime. He recently co-authored Business and the Risk of Crime in China (2011), and has been published in several international journals in both English and French. His work brought him to Cambodia many times over the years, and in 2014 he settled in Phnom Penh, where he works as a consultant and advisor in various development projects.

    Brigitte Bouhours, Australian National University, Canberra
    Brigitte Bouhours is a Visiting Scholar at the Regulatory Institutions Network of the Australian National University, Canberra. She holds a B.A. (Hons) in Criminology from Griffith University, Brisbane. Bouhours is an accomplished data analyst in both qualitative and quantitative research. She has researched and published on the appropriateness of restorative justice and other justice mechanisms for gender-based and sexual violence. She has published in the British Journal of Criminology, Violence against Women, and Theoretical Criminology. Other projects include the development and analysis of large-scale crime victimisation surveys in South-East Asia, including a focus on violence against women in Asian societies; comparative research on homicide; and the study of cybercrime perpetrators. In 2011 she published Business and the Risk of Crime in China (2011). She also publishes in French and her research has been translated in Chinese. Her recent work has involved the study of crime and violence in Cambodia. Early in 2014 she moved to Phnom Penh to work as a consultant for NGOs and government.

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