Southeast Asia was home to many of the hot battles of the Cold War. Even after the fall of the Soviet Union the region has been beset by legacies of political violence. Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia serve as the most obvious examples here. In addition to these ideological conflicts, ethnic conflicts have exploded into ethnic cleansing and genocide. Meanwhile, in the Philippines and Thailand, politicians have used violence as a technique of governance. Throughout Southeast Asia we can find patterns of necropolitical solutions to social, economic, and ethnic conflicts. In this podcast I talk to Eve Zucker and Ben Kiernan about their anthology Political Violence in Southeast Asia since 1945: Case Studies from Six Countries, published in 2021 as part of Routledge’s series “Mass Violence in Modern History”. The anthology contains 17 essays from scholars in various stages of their careers and a variety of disciplines, but they all specialize in some aspect of the history of political violence in Southeast Asia.
Dr. Eve Zucker is an anthropologist at Yale who studies remembrance and recovery after mass violence. Her previous books include Forrest of Struggle: Moralities of Remembrance in Upland Cambodia; Mass Violence and Memory in the Digital Age: Memorialization Unmoored; and Coexistence in the Aftermath of Mass Violence: Imagination, Empathy, and Resilience.
Dr. Ben Kiernan, also at Yale, is the A. Whitney Griswold Professor of History and the founding director of Yale’s Genocide Studies Program. His numerous books include How Pol Pot Came to Power, The Pol Pot Regime, Blood and Soil (which is a world history of genocide), Genocide and Resistance in Southeast Asia, and survey of some 2,000 years of Vietnamese history.
Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 2018).
Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 2018). When he’s not reading or talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California.