Conflict has a general impact on the development of society and is based off certain aspects by which can be measured statistically and/or analytically. There are many examples of this idea that has played true consistently during the course of history, one of which being Cambodia. The effects of past conflict on the development of Cambodia has had, and still has, a noticeable effect on many aspects of the current Cambodian society. Cambodia is a nation which is well known for the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge in 1970s and would, in effect, have a detrimental impact on the development of the country. Hence, this paper seeks to explore the lingering effects of the Khmer Rouge's party on current economic, social, and political components of society in present day Cambodia.
The Communist party of Kampuchea (CPK), formally known as the Khmer Rouge, took control of the Cambodian government in April 1975 (Gottesman, 2003). This siege of government occurred when the Khmer Rouge overthrew the concurrent ruling government, the Khmer Republic, and renamed it the Democratic Kampuchea. Cambodia was governed by the Khmer Rouge from April 7, 1975, until January, 1979 when the military forces from Vietnam ousted the ruling government from power (Sonneborn, 2012). During its ruling, the Khmer Rouge, under Pol Pot's ideological and political leadership, strove to make a society by which was as ethically and socially homogeneous as possible. In this attempt, the Khmer Rouge abolished every pre-existing social, cultural, and economic institutions, changing the Cambodian population into a communal workforce which would, in effect, have a large impact on the future of the countries general social development. One of the methods implemented by the CPK was to split up the nation, consisting of between two to three million individuals, subjecting them to forced labor as well as inhumane conditions of living including starvation, disease, and physical exhaustion (Forster, T.