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Department of Politics and International Studies

Mr Andrew Richard Johnston

BA Japanese and Economics (SOAS), MA Pacific Asian studies (SOAS) (majoring in 'Economic dynamics of Southeast Asia').


Andrew Johnston
Mr Andrew Richard Johnston
Email address:
Thesis title:
The Political Genocide of Cambodia, a comparative study.
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


Until undertaking my PhD, my main academic focus has been that of Economics, specifically focussing on the regions of South and Southeast Asian as my primary discipline. Having become increasingly interested in the political economy of these regions, my field of interest shifted firmly into the field of politics, and having always been fascinated by socialist regimes and mass murder associated with Communist states, my research, perhaps unsurprisingly, has found itself in the domain of political genocide.

PhD Research

The focus of my PhD is to ascertain the degree to which individual actors exacted violence in a central and peripheral detention centre during the Khmer Rouge regime. In comparing the two centres I wish to analyse the extent to which, within the same cognitive framework, the proximity to  the central state was a factor of paramount importance in regards to the behaviour of the tools of violence, i.e. the perpetrators of mass murder. My thesis naturally places the Cambodian experience in a worldwide context with great emphasis placed on comparisons drawn with the Nazi concentration camp system, Soviet Gulags and Maoist labour camps.

PhD Publications

PhD Conferences

  • ‘The Political Genocide of Cambodia. A comparative study’, SOAS: Pondering the Political, London, 13 June 2012
  • ‘Memory and Justice’ discussant at ‘The Comparative Politics of Memory in Asia and Africa’, SOAS, London, 3 May 2012
  • ‘Centre and Peripheral studies during periods of political violence’ (Keynote speaker on Violence and Representation), BCLA/SOAS Research Students society conference ‘Comparing Centres, Comparing Peripheries’ London, 19-20 January 2012
  • Key observant at the annual genocide teacher training centre, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 23-27 July 2012
  • Key observant at the annual genocide training at the Cambodian military headquarters, Kampong Spieu, Cambodia. 17-18 July 2012
  • Research assistant for ‘The Comparative Politics of Memory in Asia and Africa’, SOAS, London, 3 May 2012.