Lessons from the Cambodian Experience with Truth and Reconciliation
Forthcoming, Buffalo Human Rights Law Review, Sept. 2012
26 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2012 Last revised: 5 Oct 2012
Date Written: June 8, 2012
Written for a symposium on truth and reconciliation in South Korea, this article offers lessons from the Cambodian experience with truth and reconciliation. Cambodia might be a counter-intuitive case study given that it has never convened a formal truth and reconciliation commission, yet offers important lessons for South Korea and other states seeking to meet the needs of survivors of abusive regimes. We present two central claims drawn from the Cambodian experience of truth and reconciliation. First, local civil society should be engaged as a central player in truth and reconciliation initiatives. Second, the Cambodian example offers lessons about the role of institutional sequencing in transitional justice efforts, particularly the sometimes unexpected ways in which more traditional institutions create political space for more innovative and effective mechanisms.
Keywords: Cambodia, Khmer Rouge, truth and reconciliation commission
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation