Chapter Six: Khmer Politics and History

Here we tackle ways to talk about, read about and understand the huge topic that is Khmer history and its close cousin, politics. So rather than give you a detailed tour of the fascinating, meandering maze that is the history of Cambodia, we�re going to focus on a few critical concepts that you can apply to your personal inquiry into every era of Khmer history.

In the collection of Khmer texts in this chapter, you�ll be able to see read a variety of documents which represent various periods in Khmer history, and you'll have ample opportunity to apply critical thinking to the reading of Khmer history. And of course, along the way, you�ll pick up lots of new linguistic tools with which to intelligently discuss history with Khmers, and tools with which to express your own opinions and theories on that history. We�ll also provide you with some core vocabulary essential to understanding and discussing politics in Cambodia, in previous eras and today.

Note that the links to the PDFs and html pages below will open in separate browser windows.

Documenting the Khmer Rouge Period in Cambodia

Here's one Khmer woman's unique attempt to document a deeply troubling period in her life and in the larger realm of Khmer history

  • Watch the video interview with the woman showcasing her documentation of her life under the Khmer Rouge

  • See an excerpt from the woman's novel based on her experiences

    Life in 1980s Cambodia

    Here's an interview with a woman (with accompanying related textbook material) documenting an important but little heard-about period in recent Khmer history, the economically bleak 1980s, and how Cambodians survived under its constraints.

  • Watch the video interview with a woman describing how she pursued a career in the 1980s in Cambodia

  • See an excerpt from a propoganda comic book about a Cambodian government practice in the 1980s

    Return to the main Heritage Textbook index