Famine in Cambodia

Geopolitics, Biopolitics, Necropolitics

Title Details

Pages: 218

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 04/15/2023

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6372-1

List Price: $32.95


Pub Date: 04/15/2023

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6373-8

List Price: $114.95

Famine in Cambodia

Geopolitics, Biopolitics, Necropolitics

An examination of state-induced famines as a form of sovereign violence

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  • Description
  • Reviews

This book examines three consecutive famines in Cambodia during the 1970s, exploring both continuities and discontinuities of all three. Cambodia experienced these consecutive famines against the backdrop of four distinct governments: the Kingdom of Cambodia (1953–1970), the U.S.-supported Khmer Republic (1970–1975), the communist Democratic Kampuchea (1975–1979), and the Vietnamese-controlled People’s Republic of Kampuchea (1979–1989).

Famine in Cambodia documents how state-induced famine constituted a form of sovereign violence and operated against the backdrop of sweeping historical transformations of Cambodian society. It also highlights how state-induced famines should not be solely framed from the vantage point in which famine occurs but should also focus on the geopolitics of state-induced famines, as states other than Cambodia conditioned the famine in Cambodia.

Drawing on an array of theorists, including Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, and Achille Mbembe, James A. Tyner provides a conceptual framework to bring together geopolitics, biopolitics, and necropolitics in an effort to expand our understanding of state-induced famines. Tyner argues that state-induced famine constitutes a form of sovereign violence—a form of power that both takes life and disallows life.

An original. James A. Tyner compares and contrasts the underlying causes of a decade of ongoing famine in Cambodia under three regimes, something which has not been previously done. There is nothing like it, and thus it will constitute a significant contribution to the literature. This is great stuff.

—Craig Etcheson, author of Extraordinary Justice: Law, Politics, and the Khmer Rouge Tribunals

Famine in Cambodia opens up important questions and debates in a number of fields of scholarly inquiry: agrarian Marxism, food regimes, forms of actually existing socialism and famine dynamics, and Cambodian history and political economy. To my knowledge there is no comparable study of the political economy of famine in Cambodia. . . . Tyner’s research clearly reflects a deep and sophisticated understanding and control of archival and historical materials and is a crucial contribution to the literature.

—Michael J. Watts, author of Silent Violence: Food, Famine, and Peasantry in Northern Nigeria

About the Author/Editor

JAMES A. TYNER is a professor of geography at Kent State University and fellow of the American Association of Geographers. He is the author of eighteen books, including The Nature of Revolution: Art and Politics under the Khmer Rouge (Georgia) and War, Violence, and Population: Making the Body Count, which received the AAG Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography. His honors include the AAG Glenda Laws Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to geographic research on social issues.