My dissertation asks what explains the uneven effects of collectivization and why the practice became so lethal. In answering these questions, I focus on collectivization during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia from 1975 - 1979. The Khmer Rouge sought to destroy preexisting social order and fundamentally remake the state. This was done through the implementation of village cooperatives, which included reorganizing traditional social order through the destruction of the family, as a means to transform everyday life into cooperative production. As a result, there was famine that caused excess mortality, unnecessary suffering, and imprinted a generation with the physical and psychological effects of the conflict. I argue that the uneven levels of collectivization can be explained by the ways that authority was delegated to local administrators, while the destruction of social institutions, through the practice of forced marriage and group living, decreased the likelihood of population survival. I break down collectivization into practices pertaining to living, eating, and working cooperatively, to capture the ways that these policies were put in place, where they changed over time, and why they persisted despite deaths from famine. This dissertation puts forward an organizational approach to revolutionary governance and an original measure of collectivization to explain the relationship between state organization, local governance, and mass deaths during periods of revolution.
Forced Marriage in comparative perspective: Practices of sexual violence or cultural destruction?
Model Districts as policy guidelines or Potemkin village? Establishing institutions during conflict
Governing during Revolution: Governance and patterns of targeted violence in Cambodia’s genocide