Research Topics

It is a goal of Documentation Center of Cambodia to train a generation of young Cambodians to produce valuable research, and ultimately to publish books on a par with international scholarly standards. Our Research and Publications Project aims to: a) serve as a resource on the history of Democratic Kampuchea, b) produce scholarly publications, generate scholarly exchange, catalyze training, and create opportunities for our staff to pursue advanced degrees, c) provide a cross-check and confirmation of Khmer Rouge primary documents, and d) provide a broader overall understanding of the Democratic Kampuchea regime.

Given the experience levels of Documentation Center of Cambodia researchers, our strategy is to comb primary and secondary sources, and to conduct interviews with Khmer Rouge victims and perpetrators, in order to assemble a thorough empirical record of data that can then be analyzed by scholars. It takes a great deal of time, training, and experience to produce sophisticated theoretical analyses, but we hope that over time, our researchers will increasingly be able to carry out studies of the more analytical variety.


Research and Monograph on Cambodia's Minorities​

Ethnic tensions lay just under the surface in Cambodia, as the 2003 riots at the Thai embassy and businesses, and recent tensions in the Muslim community over Wahhabi Islam factions’ attempts to “convert” the traditional Cham Muslim populations have demonstrated. We are proposing a two-year project that will examine the history of Cambodia’s diverse ethnic communities, their treatment under the Khmer Rouge regime (the Vietnamese and Muslims in particular were treated brutally), and their status today. It will explore ethnic identity, ethnic relations, and the legal-political treatment of minorities in Cambodia, including the Cham, Thai, Vietnamese, Laotians, Chinese, Burmese, and Hill Tribes.

Funding is being provided by the Swedish Government and USAID.

The Human Rights Violation of the Chinese in the Khmer Rouge: 1975-1979

Chan Sambath

History of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum: A Memorial Site

Yin Nean

This is monograph focuses on the transformation of Toul Sleng from a torture center to genocide museum and a site of conscience. It presents a chronological survey of S-21 through the various political periods since the arrival of the Vietnamese in Phnom Penh.

Dak Nong-Mondul Kiri Comparative Education

Truong Huyen Chi and Dany Long

This is a comparative research of critical ethnography of education in multi-ethnic highlands of Cambodia and Vietnam. It focuses on the effects of globalization on education in the Hmong communities in both Countries and how that education shapes the younger generations in the communities.

Transcending Citizenship: Nation-Making through Experiences of Vietnamese-Cambodian and Cambodian-Vietnamese Living in the Two Countries in the 1970s

Dany Long

Vietnamese ethnics were expelled from Cambodia in the early 1970s during the Khmer Republic regime. Along with their Cambodian spouses and a few Cambodians, they settled in Vietnam. This paper focuses on their experiences as they moved between the two countries, including experiences during the war, migration and treatment by local Vietnamese and Vietnamese government.

Family Tracing and Reconciliation: Restoring Families of A Nation

Dany Long

3000 pages in English and Khmer

From 1970 to mid-1990s Cambodia was in armed conflicts. The country has only recently been  peaceful in the past ten years when democratic processes are taking hold. For this process to have a stronger foothold in Cambodian society, Cambodia needs to address the most fundamental need of its society—it is the need to find and reconcile with their lost relatives who were separated mostly since the Khmer Rouge regime evacuated cities on April 17, 1975. During the Khmer Rouge regime of three years, eight months and twenty days, almost two million Cambodian people of all creeds, political orientation and ethnicities perished due to summary execution, malnutrition, starvation and forced labors. Families were separated and put into labor units. At the end of the Khmer Rouge regime in January 1979, people walked back to their homes of 1975 hoping that they would meet their family members. However only a few families were able to reconcile with their lost relatives during that time. With a minimal death rate of up to one in seven, most people arrived homes alone, facing the prospect of rebuilding life without the comfort of their families. For Cambodian people to move on and to help them bring closure to the past, helping them to locate their lost loved ones is vital, whether dead or alive. The most important piece of information that survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime would like to know is the certainty of the fate of their loved ones. This project aims to reconcile family members through the publication of a Family Tracing book that lists all the names of people who disappeared or died during the Khmer Rouge regime, utilizing DC-Cam’s extensive biographical database and other archival holdings. The book in effect would create a log book of democracy in which voices of the victims are expressed and heard. The most fundamental violation of human rights during the Khmer Rouge regime was the destruction of human lives. This project aims to address this issue by highlighting individual stories of the dead and disappeared. In effect it raises their voices and creates a platform on which Khmer Rouge victims are presented.  One can also call the book as the book of the disappeared.

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