3 Individuals and societies

Sample 3.1 - History - Khmer Rouge

History is the most popular subject in which students write their extended essay. Therefore distinguishing yourself from other candidates is not easy. This can also be seen in the grades awarded for History extended essays, with the majority of students receiving Cs and even Ds (see the latest IB Statistical Bulletin). So how does one write a good extended essay in this subject? 

When writing about history

There are a few points worth considering when writing an EE in History. Take these into consideration when reading the following essay: 

  • Be careful not to summarise historical events.
  • Instead, show understanding, analysis and implications of historical events. 
  • Ensure that your research question is focused on an aspect of history, i.e. 'the events leading up to'.
  • There is a 10-year rule; you cannot write about events from the past 10 years, as they're not yet historical. 
  • Explore multiple, if not all, key concepts from the History course: 
    • causation
    • consequence
    • change
    • continuity
    • significance
    • perspectives.

Pol Pot (1975)
This extended essay is heavily inspired by a biography on Pol Pot. Nevertheless, it is careful not to summarise his life and time.   

EE Sample 3.1 

Title: Rise of the Khmer Rouge 
Research question: To what extent were foreign influences the main cause in the Khmer Rouge’s rise in power in Cambodia in 1975?
Word count: 3,980

Introduction
The Communist Party of Kampuchea, subsequently referred to in this essay as the Khmer Rouge, were the ruling party of Cambodia between 1975 and 1979. The party was led by Pol Pot (Saloth Sâr), Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen, and Khieu Samphan[1] and under their rule, the state was renamed Democratic Kampuchea.[2] This investigation will focus mainly on the influences of foreign powers on the rise of the Khmer Rouge regime in April of 1975. The research of the rise to power of the Khmer Rouge is significant because to this very day, there are still on-going trials to prosecute leaders of the regime for crimes against humanity. During the period of Khmer Rouge dominance, the Cambodian populace were arrested, tortured, and executed. Events that have shaped and changed South East Asia have greatly influenced my life as I grew up. This fuels my on-going interest in the influences of foreign powers on catastrophic events such as the Khmer Rouge.

Initially, the Khmer Rouge regime seems to be solely influenced by French colonialism and French communism. With further analysis into various contributing ideologies, this is not the case. The scope of this essay will focus on the various other international influences and how those influences brought to power a group who would subsequently kill approximately 1.7 million civilians in just four years.[3] 

Historical Background of Foreign Influence in Cambodia
From the 15th to 19th century, Cambodia was a nation that underwent several drastic changes in terms of territorial loss, colonialism, and political turmoil. Despite being situated between Siam (Thailand) and Vietnam, two nations that were gradually increasing in power, Cambodia’s prosperity during the 16th century did not provide enough competitive footing with these two nations. Cambodia was controlled and protected by Siam until the Vietnamese annexation of the Mekong Delta during the 17th century.[4] Vietnam’s successful attempt of invasion allowed Cambodia to break free from Siamese control, into Vietnamese control. As a result of Vietnamese control, a kingdom in Cambodia was established under full Vietnamese suzerainty.[5]

The reigning monarch of Cambodia from 1860 to 1904, King Norodom I, struggled to bring an end to the utilization of Cambodia as vassal territory for Siam and Vietnam. Constant struggle for liberation from the control of two dominating nations led to Cambodia signing a protection treaty with France.  Cambodia came to rely heavily on French protection to prevent Vietnamese invasion on their eastern frontiers. After the treaty between France and Cambodia was signed, Cambodia struggled to maintain its autonomy. Cambodian monarchy held very little power, maintained merely for cultural reasons. In 1941, Norodom Sihanouk, an inexperienced monarch from a weak Cambodian house was brought to power by France to be utilized as a French political pawn, with the belief that he would not be defiant to French will.[6] During WWII, the Japanese allowed French colonialism to prevail but encouraged nationalism in Cambodia, through the Japanese policy of “Asia for Asians” designed to rid Southeast Asia of Western influence, replacing it with Japanese hegemony.[7] From early on, the seeds of Cambodian nationalism were sown by a foreign power – Japan.

After WWII, the French returned to Cambodia to reinstate its rule in the region. Cambodia was made an autonomous state within the French Union, but France retained de facto control.[8] Cambodia as a nation was not properly prepared for a parliamentary democracy and the French refused to give any genuine power to the National Assembly.[9]

Cercle Marxiste
Among the five leading members of the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot, Ieng Sary, Khieu Samphan, and Son Sen received scholarships to study in Paris. The experience exposed the future Khmer Rouge leaders to Marxism-Leninism[10], between 1949 to 1951 Pol Pot and Ieng Sary, joined the French Communist Party (PCF). At the time the PCF was considered to be the tightest, most orthodox Marxist-Leninist of Western European Communism.[11] The Khmer student population of Paris made up the Khmer’s Student Association (KSA), the KSA started as a non-political association but after the Berlin Festival its political perspective shifted drastically to the left.[12] Within the KSA a new organization was created, the Cercle Marxiste, consisting of 30 Khmer students. The Cercle, comprising of a secretive network of cells subsequently discovered Stalinism, providing the students with a sense of belonging and a goal.[13] Though they were exposed to Marxism, their interpretation of it was heavily induced by Buddhism.[14] The Khmer students including Pol Pot studied various works of Stalin such as his 1912 essay Marxism and the National Question and The History of the Communist Party (Bolshevik). The 1938 work by Stalin on the aftermath of the Great Terror can be considered a vital informative influence to the course of the regime.[15]

The History of the Communist Party (Bolshevik) emphasized on six basic lessons, like ‘the need to stay close to the masses’ and not to become ‘dizzy with success’.[16] Though what stood out most for the Khmer Communists were Stalin’s four precepts, focusing on the importance of correct leadership, ‘without which the cause of the proletarian revolution will be ruined.[17] Stalin taught that Marxism-Leninism was not a philosophy, but a guide to action. The History also provided the Cambodian Communists with other invaluable lessons on the importance of revolutionaries utilizing both legal and illegal forms of struggle in order to gain power. Stalin’s messages constantly urged Communists to always be on the defensive.[18]

Though Stalinism provided the Khmer students with a sense of direction, Mao’s speech On New Democracy in January of 1940, delivered to rural workers in Yan’an provided an intricate outline for revolution in colonial or semi-colonial states.[19] Mao taught that revolutions in semi-colonial states had to occur in two stages, first a democratic revolution must occur, initiated by an alliance of different classes then a socialist revolution must occur.[20] Mao explains, ‘the universal truth of Marxism, must be combined with specific national characteristics to acquire a definitive form…to be useful, and in no circumstances can it be applied objectively as a mere formula. Marxists who make a fetish of formulas are simply playing the fool.’ [21] The Khmer students never accepted Marxism as a result of its theoretical insights but utilized it in attempts to expel the French from Cambodia.

Though Mao was flexible on combining national culture with communism, one thing he, like Stalin remained inflexible in, co-operation to the Communist Party. With Mao and Stalin, revolutions were ran by the industrial proletariat, Mao insisted, ‘the revolution cannot succeed without the modern industrial working class.’[22]  The concept of an industrial working class, modern or otherwise was non-existent in Cambodia.[23] The Cercle had one option, a national-based revolution for which an entirely different model was needed, a model Pol Pot found in The Great Revolution by the Russian anarchist, Kropotkin. The book’s contents had undeniable parallels to the conditions of Cambodia at the time.[24] 

The French Revolution of 1789 shared more similarities to conditions in Cambodia than Russia and China. Kropotkin’s aims set out in The Great Revolution posed as inspirational ideas to Pol Pot.

The Revolution was prepared and made by two great movements. One was the current of ideas – a tide of new ideas on the political reorganization of the State – which came from the bourgeoisie. The other, the current of action, came from the popular masses – the peasants and laborers … When these two movements joined together for what at first was a common goal – when for a time they lent each other mutual support – the Revolution occurred … the philosophers prepared the way for the down fall of the ancient régime… It was necessary to pass from theory to action, from an ideal conceived by the imagination to its practical implementation by deeds. What [we] must study today, above everything else, are the circumstances, which permitted the French nation, at a particular moment in history, to make that leap – to begin to make that ideal a reality.[25]

Cambodia in the twentieth century was France during the eighteenth. Though parallels between the two nations were not apparent to those in Cambodia, the similarities cried out to the Khmer students. “Prime Minister Pol Pot and I were profoundly influenced by the spirit of French thought – by the Age of Enlightenment, of Rousseau and Montesquieu[26], explains Khieu Samphân. It was Robespierre’s radicalism that drew in some of the future members of the Khmer Rouge. Suong Sikoen, who would later become one of the closest aids of Ieng Sary was quoted saying:

“Robespierre’s personality impressed me. His radicalism influenced me a lot. He was incorruptible and intransigent... If you do something, you must do it right through to the end. You can’t make compromises... You must always be on the side of the absolute – no middle way, no compromise. You must never do things by halves…”[27]  

Though Kropotkin praised the French Revolution, to him the Revolution never went far enough. Kropotkin had a more aggressive outlook on revolution, “must never stop half way, for then it will surely fail…Rather, once a revolution has broken out, it must develop to its furthest limits. At its highest point, countervailing forces will combine against it…and it will be forced to yield…Reaction will set in…But the end result will be better that what went before.” [28]  Though Kropotkin’s work, The Great French Revolution contained much more viable information, three of his core notions stuck with Pol Pot.[29] These core notions include, a revolution’s need for an alliance between intellectuals and the peasantry that a revolution once started, must be carried out to the very end, and egalitarianism makes up the basis of communism.[30]

After failing his exams three successive years, Pol Pot’s bursary to study in France was cut-off.[31] On January 13, 1953, Pol Pot arrived back to Cambodia. During that time, several students studying in France were informed of the termination of their bursaries.[32] As the Khmer students returned to Cambodia, they were greeted to a country under Viet Minh control.

Vietnamese Alliance
During 1953, the Khmer Viet Minh were one of the most promising resistance groups; it was at the time the only rebel group with international connections. These international connections originate from its alliance with Vietnam. Decisions had to be made on whether the future Khmer Rouge would attempt to seize power from within by working with the Viet Minh or by fighting against them by joining forces with the Son Ngoc Thanh led Khmer Issarak. The decision to join forces with the Viet Minh posed to be the best option for the future Khmer Rouge leaders, as they felt that it would prevent the unnecessary casualties of Cambodian citizens.[33]  

For the next nine months, Cercle members submitted, with resentment to Vietnamese orders. Pol Pot and other Cercle members introduced themselves as part of the PCF, coming to aid in the struggle for independence. Though they introduced themselves as Communists, there were difficulties in gaining the trust of the Viet Minh, mainly comprised of Vietnamese and only a few Cambodians. The Paris educated Cambodians felt like puppets to the Vietnamese, as they took all the decisions and left the Cambodians with insignificant tasks .[34]

“After a while they let me work…. I was the deputy mess officer. The mess officer himself was Vietnamese. The Cambodians were only there in name”[35] Future Khmer Rouge Leader Saloth Sâr (Pol Pot)

Though Pol Pot saw that the movement was entirely controlled by the Vietnamese, it didn’t necessarily fuel any anti-Vietnamese sentiments. Pol Pot felt that the movement on its own should be more independent and self-reliant; he felt that a good relationship with Vietnam was vital and often took valuable lessons from them that would, in the future aid in his rise to power. The Vietnamese communists were very talented in the art of gaining mass support; they had an intricate system of ‘armed propaganda teams’[36] who worked closely on the infiltration of Cambodian hamlets.

Political Turmoil
Sihanouk gained control of the Cambodian government in June of 1952.[37] He campaigned for international support by touring several nations with his “Royal Crusade”.[38] The struggle for independence was a success by the end of 1953, as the French were ready to compromise to Cambodia’s terms.

In reaching a political settlement to the First Indochina War (French Indochina War) at the Geneva Conference in 1954. Sihanouk’s government became recognised as the only legal authority within Cambodia,[39] preventing Viet Minh from gaining any regional power in Cambodia as they did in Laos.[40]

During the late 1960s, opposition to Sihanouk’s rule increased.[41] Thailand and former Southern Vietnam posed as biggest threats to the survival of Cambodia as a prosperous nation-state.[42] Thailand and Southern Vietnam were close allies with the USA, which Sihanouk disliked.[43] Sihanouk enforced neutrality in international affairs in attempts to gain freedom to control issues within Cambodia.[44] Due to suspicion of American involvement in two South Vietnamese-backed plots against the Cambodian state in 1959 and encouragement in anti-Americanism by the French president, Charles de Gaulle, Sihanouk broke off relations with the United States in 1965.[45] After ending relations with the USA, Sihanouk arranged secret agreements with the Vietnamese communists. The agreements made with the Vietnamese communists enabled the stationing of communist troops on Cambodian territory in outlying districts, under the condition that Cambodian civilians were left undisturbed.[46]

In March of 1970, during Sihanouk’s tour of Europe, the Soviet Union, and China, anti-Vietnamese demonstrations erupted in Phnom Penh.[47] On March 12, Sirik Matak cancelled Sihanouk’s trade agreement with Northern Vietnam; the port of Sihanoukville received an order to be closed off to the North Vietnamese by Lon Nol.[48] An impossible ultimatum was issued: all PAVN (North Vietnamese Army) and Viet Cong forces were to evacuate from Cambodia within 72 hours or were to face military action.[49] On March 16, when it was clear that the demands of Lon Nol had not been met, civilians gathered outside the National Assembly in Phnom Penh to protest against the presence of Vietnamese troops.  Sirik Matak, after listening to a tape-recorded press conference from Paris in which Sihanouk threatened to execute him and Lon Nol as he returned to Phnom Penh, convinced Lon Nol to depose the prince.[50] Of all the Communist parties, the Chinese were the only ones willing to support Sihanouk for they had a separate plan for Cambodia.[51]

Chinese Ambitions
In the Sino-Soviet Border Clash of 1969, China found itself in a border skirmish with the Soviet Union.[52] China had a fear that in the event of North Vietnamese victory, a united Vietnam might follow suit with a pro-Soviet and anti-Chinese policies. Needing a proxy to exert leverage on Hanoi, China began playing a double game.[53] Zhou Enlai, the first Premier of the People’s Republic of China was publicly committed to restoring the monarchy in Cambodia[54]; at the same time he was also increasing Chinese support for the Cambodia communist, the Khmer Rouge.

During Sihanouk’s exile, the Royal Government of National Union of Kampuchea was formed and Sihanouk allied with communist forces of China, North Vietnam, and the Pathet Lao.[55] Through Chinese pressure, the Khmer Rouge were included into this newly formed government-in-exile. Despite Sihanouk’s history with the Khmer Rouge, his Chinese-fuelled coalition became less significant compared to his hatred towards Lon Nol, referring to him as a “complete idiot”.[56] Although Sihanouk had support from the peasantry, they were in no position to rise up against Lon Nol’s army. The Khmer Rouge seized this opportunity to offer Sihanouk full support.

American Involvement
Sihanouk’s exile in China allowed Lon Nol to seize power in Cambodia marking the beginning of a downward spiral. Lon Nol misguidedly thought that military aid from the USA would help in the expulsion of Vietnamese communist troops and defeat the Khmer Rouge. Lon Nol was unable to avoid becoming the puppet of the USA as they controlled his budget.[57] In the summer of 1971, Lon Nol’s army launched its last offensive as it progressively lost control of the countryside for the following four years.[58]

The United States of America’s main focus in the region was to remove all Vietnamese Communist influences from the area.[59] In a joint coalition with South Vietnam, the US led a ground invasion of Cambodia in May and June of 1970[60], which failed to serve its purpose of evicting the Vietnamese Communists from Cambodia. The failed efforts to evict the Vietnamese Communists from the region led to the US President Richard Nixon escalating air attacks towards Cambodia to destroy the mobile headquarters of the Viet-Cong and the North Vietnamese Army. Nixon demanded an increase in bombs on Cambodia and placed an order to utilize the bombs deeper into the country. The bomb orders towards Cambodia ignored all promises by Nixon made to the Congress that US planes would remain within 30 kilometres of the Vietnamese border.[61] President Nixon’s “Madman Theory” was the centrepiece of his foreign policy.[62] The US portrayed the bombardment of Cambodia as a symptom of Nixon’s alleged instability.

“I call it the Madman Theory, Bob. I want the North Vietnamese to believe I've reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war… "for God's sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about Communism...”[63] – Nixon to White House Chief of Staff, H.R. Haldeman

For the next three years, under Nixon’s orders, the US continuously dropped bombs deep inside the Cambodian borders. At first, the bombings were targeted to remove the North Vietnamese Army from the area, later the bombing campaigns were utilized to defend the Lon Nol regime from growing the number of Cambodian communist forces.[64] The last phase of the bombings occurred from February to August of 1973[65]. The bombings focused on stopping the Khmer Rouge’s advance into Phnom Penh. The United States’ fear of the Khmer Rouge taking over led to an unprecedented B-52 bombardment that heavily focused on the populated areas around Phnom Penh but left few regions of the country unscathed.[66]

Until Congress cut the funding for the war and forced an end to the bombings on August 15, 1973, it was believed that approximately 2,756,941 tonnes of ordnance were dropped in 230,516 sorties on 113,716 sites in Cambodia from October 4, 1965 to August 15, 1973.[67] The US bombardment of Cambodia merely temporarily delayed the Khmer Rouge’s ability to seize power of Cambodia. Arguably, the US bombings of Cambodia created even more chaos and gave the Khmer Rouge even more power than it would have had if the US refrained from the bombardment. The Khmer Rouge were driven out of their base areas as a result of the bombings, but this just encouraged them to set up new bases in other parts of the country. Vast areas of the countryside to become uninhabitable which caused a rapid increase of refugees into Phnom Penh, which posed as a problem to the ill-equipped Lon Nol regime. Many children were orphaned due to the intense bombardment, many wandering groups of Cambodian children turned to a new father figure, the Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot.[68]

“Every time after there had been bombing… Terrified and half crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told. It was because of their dissatisfaction with the bombing that they kept on co-operating with the Khmer Rouge, joining up with the Khmer Rouge, sending their children off to go with them.... Sometimes the bombs fell and hit little children, and their fathers would be all for the Khmer Rouge.”[69] Chhit Do, Former Khmer Rouge Officer

Assessment
Nationalism in Cambodia has always been stimulated by foreign influences. Siam and Vietnam’s continuous conflict over Cambodian territory caused Cambodia to fall into French protectorate. French colonialism was the ammunition for Khmer Rouge leaders, giving them purpose, as they sought to rid Cambodia of colonialism. The French prevented the National Assembly from having any real governing power in Cambodia, leading to a nation divided, unable to make major decisions. Instilling nationalistic sentiments within the nation was not required, as it was already existent, encouraged by the Japanese. As France and Japan carried on with their imperialistic ambitions, the path for Khmer Rouge success was unintentionally paved.

The leaders of the Khmer Rouge studied different Communist writings of Mao, Stalin, Kropotkin, and Marx. The Khmer Rouge leaders were drawn to these writings for its potential of liberation in Cambodia, not for its philosophy. The Khmer Rouge leaders pulled different aspects of the success of Mao and Stalin, manifesting it into their own rendition, toward power. Though the forms of Communism as executed by Mao and Stalin were not exactly applicable to situation of Cambodia, Pol Pot found inspiration in a more suitable model. Heavily influence by Kropotkin, Pol Pot and other Khmer Rouge members created parallels between their national situation and the French Revolution. They saw the need to overthrow the monarchy, the emphasis on radicalism and complete execution of their goals. Foreign ideology provided the Khmer Rouge with a concrete basis for the beginning of their rule.  

The Khmer Rouge were opportunists, taking advantage of any chance they got that would potentially lead them to a path of greater power. This led to an unlikely alliance with the Vietnamese controlled Khmer Viet Minh in which, the future Khmer Rouge leaders became subordinates of the neighboring race. Instead of allying with Son Ngoc Thanh’s movement, they worked with the Viet Minh disassembling it from within, gradually shifting the power to their hands. The alliance with Viet Minh posed not only significant in terms of the changing the balance of power but, provided the Khmer Rouge with lessons on propaganda that they would utilize to lure popular support and indoctrinate a sense of hatred towards foreigners.

The Chinese were responsible for shaping the Khmer Rouge into a legitimate governmental force, by pushing Pol Pot towards an alliance with Sihanouk. Forming an even further division within the nation as citizens were forced to choose sides. Having the support of a major power like China provided the Khmer Rouge with enough force to guarantee them success, as long as they continued on making the right decisions.

American bombings between 1970 and 1973, left not only areas of Cambodia barren, but instilled severe hatred and anger within the people affected. The Khmer Rouge played on this hatred and utilized propaganda techniques picked up from their years with the Viet Minh to induce support for their regime. The US bombings of the region intended to rid the area of Communists resulted in the exacerbation of the situation. People were drawn to the Khmer Rouge as the Lon Nol regime relied on the US. In turn, Communism in Cambodia became more appealing than ever before.

Conclusion
1975 saw the start of one of the biggest post WWII human catastrophes in Southeast Asia, one which would rival the catastrophes of the Korean and Vietnam Wars. What first began as attempts to rid a Cambodia of French colonialism resulted in a downwards spiral of a nation far too familiar with the effects foreign influences. The Khmer Rouge regime massacred approximately 1.7 million Cambodian civilians, within four years. Were foreign influences the main cause in the rise of the regime?

The Khmer Rouge executed their regime based on a selection of various foreign ideologies, the potent concoction of Communist ideology in addition to external attempts of its suppression allowed for the outburst of one of the most notable genocides in history. In assessing the reason behind the creation of the Khmer Rouge, it’s clear that foreign influences were the root of nationalistic ambitions in the Khmer Rouge and Cambodia. The chain-reactions of events that took place in Cambodia, aided by foreign nations in support and protest against the Khmer Rouge greatly influenced their rise in power. The unintended effects of the US bombings meant to suppress the regime became the final trigger, driving the Khmer Rouge into power. The Khmer Rouge could not have gained power without foreign influences, for without it; there would have been no basis of their regime.  

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[11] Guiat, Cyrille. "Introduction." Introduction. The French and Italian Communist Parties: Comrades and Culture. London: Frank Cass, 2003. Xvii. Print.

[12] Short, Philip. "City of Light." Pol Pot. London: John Murray, 2004. 62. Print.

[13] Ibid., 65.

[14] Wessinger, Catherine. Millennialism, Persecution, and Violence: Historical Cases. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse UP, 2000. 282. Print.

[15] Short, Philip. "City of Light." Pol Pot. London: John Murray, 2004. 67. Print.

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[20] Zedong, Mao. "The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party." The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party. 1940. Marxists. 2004. Web. 19 Nov. 2012. <http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-2/mswv2_23.htm>.

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[23] Short, Philip. "City of Light." Pol Pot. London: John Murray, 2004. 72. Print.

[24] Ibid., 74.

[25] Kropotkin, Petr Alekseevich, and N. F. Dryhurst. The Great French Revolution, 1789-1793. New York: Vanguard, 1927. 1-2. Print.

[26] Short, Philip. "City of Light." Pol Pot. London: John Murray, 2004. 73. Print.

[27] Suong, Sikoeun. Interview. Phnom Penh Post [Phnom Penh] 15 Nov. 1996: n. pag. Print

[28] Kropotkin, Petr Alekseevich, and N. F. Dryhurst. The Great French Revolution, 1789-1793. New York: Vanguard, 1927. 646 and 738-9. Print.

[29] Short, Philip. "City of Light." Pol Pot. London: John Murray, 2004. 74. Print.

[30] Adams, Matthew S. "Kropotkin: Evolution, Revolutionary Change and the End of History." Anarchist Studies 19.1 (2011): 56. Print.

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[32] Short, Philip. "Initiation to the Maquis." Pol Pot. London: John Murray, 2004. 89. Print.

[33] Short, Philip. "Initiation to the Maquis." Pol Pot. London: John Murray, 2004. 90. Print.

[34] Ibid., 96

[35] Pot, Pol. Interview by Cai Ximei. May 1984.

[36] Short, Philip. "Initiation to the Maquis." Pol Pot. London: John Murray, 2004. 99. Print.

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[40] "Vietnam War Timeline." Department of English, University of Illinois.Web. 23 Jan. 2013 <http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/vietnam/timeline.htm>.

[41] "Cambodia (Kampuchea)." Uppsala Universitet. Uppsala Conflict Data Program, n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2013. <http://www.ucdp.uu.se/gpdatabase/gpcountry.php?id=27>.

[42] Kislenko, Arne. "A Not So Silent Partner: Thailand's Role in Covert Operations, Counter-Insurgency, and the Wars in Indochina." The Journal of Conflict Studies. N.p., Summer 2004. Web. 12 Jan. 2013 <http://journals.hil.unb.ca/index.php/jcs/article/view/292/465>.

[43] "Cambodia History." History of Cambodia. Lonely Planet, n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2013 <http://www.lonelyplanet.com/cambodia/history>.

[44] United States. Central Intelligence Agency. National Security. Prince Sihanouk and the New Order in Southeast Asia. By John M. Taylor. Freedom of Information Act: Central Intelligence Agency, May 2007. Web. 16 Jan. 2013 <http://www.foia.cia.gov/CPE/ESAU/esau-25.pdf>.

[45] Tighe, Paul, and Daniel Ten Kate. "Norodom Sihanouk, Former King of Cambodia, Dies at 89." Bloomberg. Bloomberg L.P., 15 Oct. 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-15/norodom-sihanouk-former-king-of-cambodia-dies-at-89.html>.

[46] "Norodom Sihanouk (King of Cambodia)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2012 <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/418437/Norodom-Sihanouk>.

[47] "Lon Nol Ousts Prince Sihanouk." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2012<http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/lon-nol-ousts-prince-sihanouk>.

[48] Matak, Sisowath Sirik. "Open Letter to Prince Sihanouk." Letter to Prince Sihanouk. 27 Aug. 1973. KI Media. KI Media, 4 Aug. 2011. Web. 26 Oct. 2012 <http://ki-media.blogspot.nl/2011/08/open-letter-to-prince-sihanouk-by.html>

[49] "Lon Nol." Khmer View - Lon Nol. N.p., 2012. Web. 26 Oct. 2012 <http://www.khmerview.com/Lon-Nol.html>.

[50] Marlay, Ross, and Clark D. Neher. Patriots and Tyrants: Ten Asian Leaders. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999. 165. Print.

[52] Burr, William. "The Sino-Soviet Border Conflict, 1969: US Reactions and Diplomatic Maneuvers." The National Security Archives. N.p., 12 June 2001. Web., 26 Oct. 2012 <http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB49/>.

[53] Marlay, Ross, and Clark D. Neher. Patriots and Tyrants: Ten Asian Leaders. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999. 165. Print.

[54] Ibid., 167.

[55] Carvin, Andy. "Before the Holocaust: The Coup." Before the Holocaust: The Coup. N.p., 1999. Web. 1 Nov. 2012. <http://www.edwebproject.org/sideshow/history/coup.html>.

[56] Sihanouk, Norodom. "Intervista con La Storia." Interview by Oriana Fallaci. June 1973: 16. Print.

[57] Hersh, Seymour M. The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House. New York: Summit, 1983. 175. Print.

[58] Ibid.

[59] Owen, Taylor, and Ben Kiernan. "Bombs Over Cambodia." The Walrus Oct. 2006: 67. Cambodian Genocide Databases (CGDB). Web. 20 Sep. 2012 <http://www.yale.edu/cgp/Walrus_CambodiaBombing_OCT06.pdf>.

[60] Ibid.

[61] Ibid.

[62] Simon, Harvey. The Madman Theory. Bethesda, MD: Rosemoor, 2012. Print.

[63] Haldeman, H. R., and Joseph DiMona. The Ends of Power. New York: Times, 1978. 122. Print.

[64] Owen, Taylor, and Ben Kiernan. "Bombs Over Cambodia." The Walrus Oct. 2006: 67. Cambodian Genocide Databases (CGDB). Web. 20 Sep. 2012 <http://www.yale.edu/cgp/Walrus_CambodiaBombing_OCT06.pdf>.

[65] Ibid.

[66] Thayer, Nate. "Khmer Rouge, Cambodian Government Suffer Memory Failure in Court: This Might Help." 'Nate Thayer' N.p., 8 Dec. 2011. Web. 12 Jan. 2013. <http://natethayer.typepad.com/blog/khmer-rouge-tribunal/>.

[67] Owen, Taylor, and Ben Kiernan. "Bombs Over Cambodia." The Walrus Oct. 2006: 63. Cambodian Genocide Databases (CGDB). Web.. 20 Sep. 2012 <http://www.yale.edu/cgp/Walrus_CambodiaBombing_OCT06.pdf>.

[68] Ibid.

[69] Do, Chhit. Interview by Bruce Palling. Bangkok Post 1979: Print.

EE Sample 3.1 - RPPF 

RPPF

Student's comments

First
reflection

I knew right away that I wanted to write about the killing fields, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, because this is part of my history as a Cambodian. I talked to my supervisor and history teacher about this need to write about this topic, and he encouraged me to find an angle or focus for my essay. I kept coming back to questions that started with ‘why’ or ‘how’: ‘Why did the Khmer Rouge kill so many people?’ ‘How did they come to power?’ I found myself describing the historical events that led up to the Killing Fields, and I noticed a thin red line: foreign influences. Pol Pot never would have gained sympathy, if it hadn’t been for America’s carpet bombing of eastern Cambodia. And my history teacher told me to look at China’s involvement as well, which I didn’t know much about when I started. So really it wasn’t so difficult to arrive at my research question: ‘To what extent were foreign influences the main cause in the Khmer Rouge’s rise in power?’  (176 words)

Interim
reflection

I’ve discovered so much just by reading books, articles and webpages about the rise of the Khmer Rouge. There are so many explanations on how Pol Pot and his friends went from being a weak group of college dropouts to powerful despots. It’s tough to figure out which sources to use and which to ignore. I’m not sure how to write an essay without simply restating what other authors have already written so well. I think I’m going to start with the basics and walk the reader through the events that led up to the Killing Fields. My supervisor / History teacher has suggested I keep my focus on foreign influences by organising each section around a particular foreign influence. So now I have to think about the order in which I’m going to present each foreign influence. It’s like I have a bunch of puzzle pieces and I have to figure out how to put them together. What’s worse, every time I think I have all of the pieces, I discover a new one. I know I should stop reading and start writing, but it’s difficult to do this when I’m finding out so much.  (196 words)

Final
reflection
(viva voce)

In the end I had to lock myself up and just write the essay. I almost didn’t make the deadline, which is silly because I had so much information so early on. I think I did well on all the criteria, as I marked my own paper. I’m really proud of my bibliography, because it shows how much I read. I have to say that I learned the most from the Pol Pot biography. All in all I have a better understanding of my country’s history now that I’ve written this essay. (92 words)

Teacher's comments

----- did a good job on her extended essay in my opinion. She was highly motivated to learn more about Pol Pot and the Killing Fields, because she is a Cambodian living abroad and she is curious about her country’s past. She was quick out of the gate to find sources. She was especially consumed by Philip Short’s biography on Pol Pot, which is clearly visible in the final result. In fact I think she found it difficult to write the essay without summarising his viewpoints. I steered her toward an essay that focused the foreign influences that helped the Khmer Rouge rise to power. In the end, this helped her organise her essay and build an argument. 

EE Assessment criteria

Criterion A: Focus and method

Level 0

The work does not reach a standard outlined by the descriptors below.

Level 1-2

The topic is communicated unclearly and incompletely.

  • Identification and explanation of the topic is limited; the purpose and focus of the research is unclear, or does not lend itself to a systematic investigation in the subject for which it is registered.

The research question is stated but not clearly expressed or too broad.

  • The research question is too broad in scope to be treated effectively within the word limit and requirements of the task, or does not lend itself to a systematic investigation in the subject for which it is registered.
  • The intent of the research question is understood but has not been clearly expressed and/or the discussion of the essay is not focused on the research question.

Methodology of the research is limited.

  • The source(s) and/or method(s) to be used are limited in range given the topic and research question.
  • There is limited evidence that their selection was informed.

Level 3-4

The topic is communicated.

  • Identification and explanation of the research topic is communicated; the purpose and focus of the research is adequately clear, but only partially appropriate.

The research question is clearly stated but only partially focused.

  • The research question is clear but the discussion in the essay is only partially focused and connected to the research question.

Methodology of the research is mostly complete.

  • Source(s) and/or method(s) to be used are generally relevant and appropriate given the topic and research question.
  • There is some evidence that their selection(s) was informed.

If the topic or research question is deemed inappropriate for the subject in which the essay is registered no more than four marks can be awarded for this criterion.

Level 5-6

The topic is communicated accurately and effectively.

  • The research is clear and appropriate.

The research question is clearly stated and focused.

  • The research question is clear and addresses an issue of research that is appropriately connected to the discussion in the essay.

Methodology of the research is complete.

  • An appropriate range of relevant source(s) and/or method(s) have been applied in relation to the topic and research question.
  • There is evidence of effective and informed selection of sources and/or methods.

Criterion B: Knowledge and understanding

Level 0

The work does not reach a standard outlined by the descriptors below.

Level 1-2

Knowledge and understanding is limited.

  • The selection of source material has limited relevance and is only partially appropriate to the research question.
  • Knowledge of the topic/discipline(s)/issue is anecdotal, unstructured and mostly descriptive with sources not effectively being used.

Use of terminology and concepts is unclear and limited.

  • Subject-specific terminology and/or concepts are either missing or inaccurate, demonstrating limited knowledge and understanding.

Level 3-4

Knowledge and understanding is good.

  • The selection of source material is mostly relevant and appropriate to the research question.
  • Knowledge of the topic/discipline(s)/issue is clear; there is an understanding of the sources used but their application is only partially effective.

Use of terminology and concepts is adequate.

  • The use of subject-specific terminology and concepts is mostly accurate, demonstrating an appropriate level of knowledge and understanding.

If the topic or research question is deemed inappropriate for the subject in which the essay is registered no more than four marks can be awarded for this criterion.

Level 5-6

Knowledge and understanding is excellent.

  • The selection of source materials is clearly relevant and appropriate to the research question.
  • Knowledge of the topic/discipline(s)/issue is clear and coherent and sources are used effectively and with understanding.

Use of terminology and concepts is good.

  • The use of subject-specific terminology and concepts is accurate and consistent, demonstrating effective knowledge and understanding

Criterion C: Critical thinking

Level 0 

The work does not reach a standard outlined by the descriptors below.

Level 1-3

The research is limited.

  • The research presented is limited and its application is not clearly relevant to the RQ.

Analysis is limited.

  • There is limited analysis.
  • Where there are conclusions to individual points of analysis these are limited and not consistent with the evidence.

Discussion/evaluation is limited.

  • An argument is outlined but this is limited, incomplete, descriptive or narrative in nature.
  • The construction of an argument is unclear and/or incoherent in structure hindering understanding.
  • Where there is a final conclusion, it is limited and not consistent with the arguments/evidence presented.
  • There is an attempt to evaluate the research, but this is superficial.

If the topic or research question is deemed inappropriate for the subject in which the essay is registered no more than three marks can be awarded for this criterion.

Level 4-6

The research is adequate.

  • Some research presented is appropriate and its application is partially relevant to the Research question.

Analysis is adequate.

  • There is analysis but this is only partially relevant to the research question; the inclusion of irrelevant research detracts from the quality of the argument.
  • Any conclusions to individual points of analysis are only partially supported by the evidence.

Discussion/evaluation is adequate.

  • An argument explains the research but the reasoning contains inconsistencies.
  • The argument may lack clarity and coherence but this does not significantly hinder understanding.
  • Where there is a final or summative conclusion, this is only partially consistent with the arguments/evidence presented.
  • The research has been evaluated but not critically.

Level 7-9

The research is good.

  • The majority of the research is appropriate and its application is clearly relevant to the research question.

Analysis is good.

  • The research is analysed in a way that is clearly relevant to the research question; the inclusion of less relevant research rarely detracts from the quality of the overall analysis .
  • Conclusions to individual points of analysis are supported by the evidence but there are some minor inconsistencies.

Discussion/evaluation is good.

  • An effective reasoned argument is developed from the research, with a conclusion supported by the evidence presented.
  • This reasoned argument is clearly structured and coherent and supported by a final or summative conclusion; minor inconsistencies may hinder the strength of the overall argument.
  • The research has been evaluated, and this is partially critical.

Level 10-12

The research is excellent.

  • The research is appropriate to the research question and its application is consistently relevant.

Analysis is excellent.

  • The research is analysed effectively and clearly focused on the research question; the inclusion of less relevant research does not significantly detract from the quality of the overall analysis.
  • Conclusions to individual points of analysis are effectively supported by the evidence.

Discussion/evaluation is excellent.

  • An effective and focused reasoned argument is developed from the research with a conclusion reflective of the evidence presented.
  • This reasoned argument is well structured and coherent; any minor inconsistencies do not hinder the strength of the overall argument or the final or summative conclusion.
  • The research has been critically evaluated.

Criterion D: Formal presentation

Level 0

The work does not reach a standard outlined by the descriptors below.

Level 1-2

Presentation is acceptable.

  • The structure of the essay is generally appropriate in terms of the expected conventions for the topic, argument and subject in which the essay is registered.
  • Some layout considerations may be missing or applied incorrectly.
  • Weaknesses in the structure and/or layout do not significantly impact the reading, understanding or evaluation of the extended essay.

Level 3-4

Presentation is good.

  • The structure of the essay clearly is appropriate in terms of the expected conventions for the topic, the argument and subject in which the essay is registered.
  • Layout considerations are present and applied correctly.
  • The structure and layout support the reading, understanding and evaluation of the extended essay.

Criterion E: Engagement 

Level 0

The work does not reach a standard outlined by the descriptors below.

Level 1-2

Engagement is limited.

  • Reflections on decision-making and planning are mostly descriptive.
  • These reflections communicate a limited degree of personal engagement with the research focus and/or research process.

Level 3-4

Engagement is good.

  • Reflections on decision-making and planning are analytical and include reference to conceptual understanding and skill development.
  • These reflections communicate a moderate degree of personal engagement with the research focus and process of research, demonstrating some intellectual initiative.

Level 5-6

Engagement is excellent.

  • Reflections on decision-making and planning are evaluative and include reference to the student’s capacity to consider actions and ideas in response to setbacks experienced in the research process.
  • These reflections communicate a high degree of intellectual and personal engagement with the research focus and process of research, demonstrating authenticity, intellectual initiative and/or creative approach in the student voice.

EE Sample 3.1 - Examiner's comments and marks

Criterion A – Focus and method

5 out of 6
 The candidate has a clear research question, which asks to what extent the Khmer Rouge were influenced by foreign ideas and nations. The candidate draws on a range of sources, including the Lonely Planet and Philip Short’s biography on Pol Pot, to make the case that the Khmer Rouge were influenced by Stalin, Kropotkin and others. The candidate’s synthesis of these sources returns to the research question and shows how circumstances ultimately led up to the infamous ‘killing fields’. The candidate’s approach is a chronological one which explores foreign influences before 1975, dealing with each in turn, linking them to the research question.

Criterion B – Knowledge and understanding
5 out of 6
 The knowledge is good, although a clearer focus on the research question would help in each of the sections. At times, the first sections summarise events without making interpretations. The final two sections of the essay, however, show the candidate’s and understanding of the historical events. Knowledge of the sources is applied in a mostly relevant and appropriate way to the research question. The candidate’s use of subject-specific terminology and concepts, especially surrounding the ideas of communism and revolution, is relevant and appropriate.

Criterion C – Critical thinking
9 out of 12  While the candidate makes a case that foreign influences played a role in the rise of the Khmer Rouge, the essay sometimes feels like a summary or other people’s points. Fortunately for the candidate, these points are rather insightful and clearly relevant to the research question. While the conclusion is strong in stating that Pol Pot never could have achieved power without the US bombings, it ignores some of the groundwork from earlier parts of the essay, which suggests that Pol Pot’s reading of Stalin and Kropotkin had something to do with the ‘Killing fields’. Furthermore the candidate could have explored other factors that implicitly led to the Khmer Rouge’s rise to power, such as social, economical and political issues. 

Criterion D - Presentation
3 out of 4
- The candidate has used a clear layout and presentation. The table of contents and the use of footnotes help the reader of the essay. The bibliography, though extensive, contains inaccuracies. Sources, divided as they are in primary and secondary sources, should be given alphabetically. 

Criterion E - Engagement

5 out of 6 
– The RPPF shows the candidate’s interest in the topic and subject. It’s clear from this form that the Pol Pot biography heavily influenced the student’s thinking about the topic. It’s also clear that the supervisor helped her formulate the research question. Nevertheless, there is evidence of a decision-making process in which the candidate is intellectually and personally engaged. The supervisor’s comments help to explain the student’s engagement.