The life-course of Pol Pot: How his early life influenced the crimes he committed

Myra de Vries, Maartje Weerdesteijn


International criminology focuses mostly on the lower level perpetrators even though it finds the leader is crucial for orchestrating the circumstances in which those people kill. While numerous theories from ordinary criminology have been usefully applied to these lower level perpetrators, the applicability of these theories to the leaders has remained underexplored. In order to fill this gap, the life-course theory of Sampson and Laub will be applied to Pol Pot whose brutal communist regime, cost the lives of approximately 1,7 million people. A difficult childhood, the influence of peers while he studied in Paris, and his marriage to a woman who shared his revolutionary mind-set, were all negative turning-points for Pol Pot.


Criminology; International Crimes; Pol Pot; Cambodia; Mass atrocities; Genocide; Life-Course Criminology

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Copyright (c) 2018 Myra de Vries, Maartje Weerdesteijn

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