- The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies
- List of Contributors
- Editors' Introduction: Changing Themes in the Study of Genocide
- Raphael Lemkin, Culture, and the Concept of Genocide
- ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ versus Genocide?
- Gender and Genocide
- The State and Genocide
- Genocide and Memory
- The Law and Genocide
- Sociology and Genocide
- Political Science and Genocide
- Anthropology and Genocide
- Social Psychology and Genocide
- Philosophy and Genocide
- Genocide in the Ancient World
- Early Medieval Europe: The Case of Britain and Ireland
- Central and Late Medieval Europe
- Colonial Latin America
- Rethinking Genocide in North America
- Genocide and Mass Violence in the ‘Heart of Darkness’: Africa in the Colonial Period
- Genocide at the Twilight of the Ottoman Empire
- Mass Deportations, Ethnic Cleansing, and Genocidal Politics in the Later Russian Empire and the USSR
- The Nazi Empire
- Twentieth‐Century China: Ethnic Assimilation and Intergroup Violence
- Political Genocides in Postcolonial Asia
- State‐Sponsored Violence and Secessionist Rebellions in Asia
- National Security Doctrine in Latin America: The Genocide Question
- Genocide and Population Displacement in Post‐Communist Eastern Europe
- Genocidal Warfare in North‐east Africa
- War and Genocide in Africa's Great Lakes since Independence
- The United Nations, the Cold War, and Its Legacy
- Military Intervention
- Punishment as Prevention?: The Politics of Punishing Génocidaires
- From Past to Future: Prospects for Genocide and Its Avoidance in the Twenty‐First Century
Abstract and Keywords
This article discusses political genocide in postcolonial Asia, looking at Indonesia, Cambodia, and China. Mass political killing presents a special problem in genocide studies. The slaughter of human beings because of the political beliefs and attitudes they held, or were presumed to have held, cost millions of lives during the twentieth century. The Indonesian killings of 1965–6 cost half a million lives and the killings during the Cultural Revolution in China claimed a million lives. Although these are massive death tolls, both episodes involved only a relatively small proportion of the total population of those two countries. The Cambodian killings, by contrast, claimed twenty-five per cent of a population of eight million in little more than three years. These three political genocides took place within little more than a decade. They occurred in the context of the Cold War, a time of acute polarization between secular ideologies that is unprecedented in world history.
Robert Cribb is Professor of Indonesian History at the Australian National University. His publications include The Indonesian Killings of 1965–1966: Studies from Java and Bali (1990), Gangsters and Revolutionaries: The Jakarta People's Militia and the Indonesian Revolution 1945–1949 (1991), and (with Li Narangoa) Imperial Japan and National Identities in Asia, 1895–1945 (2003).
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.