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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

Dr. Daniel Bultmann

Dr. Daniel Bultmann
Academic Staff
daniel.bultmann (at) hu-berlin.de

Office:                            Invalidenstraße 118, Raum 115

Phone:                                  (+49) 030/2093-66020


Office hours:                   Wednesday, 12 - 1 pm

                                     (appointment via e-mail)


Deutsche Version




Curriculum Vitae

  • (2003-2009) Studies of sociology and philosophy at the University of Freiburg and the Charles-University in Prague (2006-2007). Thesis in sociology on the Khmer Rouge regime.
  • (2008) Volunteer for the Center for Social Development (CSD) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Organization of public forums in the provinces Kampong Cham and Takeo dealing with processes of reconciliation and information about the ongoing tribunal Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in the capital Phnom Penh. Teaching of statistical methods at CSD. The stay was arranged by the Civil Peace Service (Ziviler Friedensdienst) of the German Development Service (GIZ, former DED Cambodia).
  • (2008) Field research on Cambodian genocide at the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) and the National Archives in Phnom Penh.
  • (2010-2013) PhD student in Sociology at the Humboldt-University, Berlin.
  • (2013-2014) PostDoc, Humboldt Graduate School.
  • (2014) Vocational training, Evaluator in Development Cooperation (FEEZ).
  • (2014-2017) DFG-funded project on the ‘Conversion of Armed Groups’.
  • (Fall 2018) Visiting Fellow, Genocide Studies Program, MacMillan Center, Yale University, USA.
  • (April 2017 until today) Research Fellow, DFG-funded project “Torture and Body Knowledge”, project leader: Prof. Dr. Katharina Inhetveen, University of Siegen.
  • Memberships: German Sociological Association (DGS), Association for Asian Studies (AAS), German Association for Asian Studies (DGA), Society for Evaluation (DeGEval)


Research Interests

  • Sociological theory
  • Political and historical sociology
  • Social structures
  • Sociology of armed groups and the military
  • Collective violence
  • Sociology of the body
  • Sociology of knowledge
  • Post-conflict societies and reconciliation
  • Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR)
  • Regional focus Southeast Asia: Cambodia


DFG-Project: Strategies of Conversion in Armed Groups

The goal of the research project is to analyze the strategies used by belligerents during the process of Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) of non-state armed groups. The study deals with the question of which strategies belligerents apply in order to secure themselves a position in an upcoming post-war society, and how they convert their former social status and their acquired resources to match with conditions in a society at peace. Without taking into account the strategies of conversion used by various social groups within the field, previous research, by contrast, largely focused on measuring the effectiveness of peacekeeping missions, their incentive systems from a supplier’s perspective, necessary socio-political and economic conditions within the receiving society, and the enhancement of DDR management. At most, within the current academic literature, belligerents’ strategies only surface as potential ‘spoilers’ to the peace process, that is, agents resisting demobilization and reintegration for rather unknown reasons.

Based upon quantitative questionnaires and qualitative interviews with former commanders and soldiers, the study aims to analyze the demobilization of three guerrilla factions following the Cambodian civil war (1979-1999). A central working hypothesis of the project is that the different military ranks are recruited from different social groups, which is why each of these groups pursues distinct strategies during the process of conversion. This means that strategies of conversion are socially differentiated and – following yet another hypothesis – are routed in the habitus of the demobilized belligerents. Hence, the assumption is that social differentiations persist as incorporated behavioral schemes even during massive societal change, but demand strategies of conversion by social groups. Based upon its own habitus formation and the set of resources at its disposal, each of these groups is well prepared to handle this transition differently. Thereby, the current research project aims to deliver a sociological approach to analyze cases of successful and of failed reintegration on the part of former belligerents. Moreover, it illuminates the rationale behind the usage of different strategies of conversion and the transformation of resources by commanders and soldiers in their attempt to convert their own social status into new and peaceful social fields.



(2014-2017) DFG-funded research project

(2013-2014) PostDoc Scholarship, Humboldt Graduate School

(2012) Research Grant, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

(2010-2013) PhD Scholarship, Elsa Neumann Foundation, Berlin




  • (2018) The Social Order of Post-Conflict Transition in Cambodia. Insurgent Pathways to Peace, Lanham: Lexington Books.
  • (2017) Kambodscha unter den Roten Khmer. Die Erschaffung des perfekten Sozialisten, Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh.
  • (2015) Bürgerkriegstheorien, Konstanz: UVK.
  • (2015) Inside Cambodian Insurgency. A Sociological Perspective on Civil Wars and Conflict, Burlington, VT/Farnham, UK: Ashgate.


Articles (peer-reviewed)
  • (2018) Insurgent Groups During Post-Conflict Transformation: The Case of Military Strongmen in Cambodia, Civil Wars, Vol. 20, Issue 1, pp. 24-44.
  • (2014) Analyzing the Cambodian Insurgency as a Social Field, Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol. 25, Issue 2, pp. 457-478.
  • (2011) Die Revolution frisst ihre Kinder. Mangelnde Legitimation, pädagogische Gewalt und organisierter Terror unter den Roten Khmer, Internationales Asienforum, Vol. 42 (1-2), pp. 73-105.


As Editor
  • (2018) The Social Structure of Insurgencies. Reproduction and Change during and after Conflict, Small Wars & Insurgencies, Special Issue, Vol. 29, Issue 4.


Further Articles (Invitations, Special Issues)
  • (2018) Brüche und Persistenzen in Kambodschas sozialer Ontologie, Zeitschrift für Kollektivwissenschaft, Volume 4, Issue 2.
  • (2018) The Social Structure of Insurgencies. Reproduction and Change during and after Conflict, Small Wars & Insurgencies, Introduction to Special Issue, Vol. 29, Issue 4, pp. 607-628.
  • (2012) Irrigating a Socialist Utopia. Disciplinary Space and Population Control under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-1979, Transcience, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp. 40-52.


Book Chapters
  • (2018) The Normality of Going to War: Aspects of Symbolic Violence in Participation and Perpetration in Civil Wars, in: Susanne Buckley-Zistel und Timothy Williams (eds.): Perpetrators. Dynamics, motivations and concepts for participating in mass violence, Abingdon, UK: Routledge, pp. 99-116.
  • (2017) Die Revolution der Roten Khmer, in: Olaf Glöckner und Roy Knocke (eds.): Jahrhundert der Genozide: Ursprünge, Formen und Folgen politischer Gewalt im 20. Jahrhundert, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.
  • (2016) (with Sok Udom Deth) The Afterglow of Hun Sen’s Cambodia? Socioeconomic Development, Political Change, and the Persistence of Inequalities, in: Chantana Banpasirichote-Wungaeo, Boike Rehbein and Sirichai Wungaeo (eds.): Globalization and Democracy in Southeast Asia, London: Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 87-110.
  • (2008) Moglis Bestimmung im Garten der Arten. Führerlose Massen, Artentrennung und Familienwerte im “Dschungelbuch”, in: Sacha Szabo / Samuel Strehle (eds.): Unterhaltungswissenschaft, Tectum, Marburg


  • (forthcoming) Chronicles of a People‘s War (Nhem Boraden), Pacific Affairs.
  • (2018) End of Empire. 100 Days in 1945 that Changed Asia and the World (eds., David P. Chandler, Robert Cribb and Li Narangoa), ASIEN, Vol. 145.
  • (2017) The Handbook of Contemporary Cambodia (ed. by Katherine Brickell and Simon Springer), ASIEN, Vol. 142, pp. 103-104.
  • (2014) Zwischen Planung und spontaner Ordnung – Stadtentwicklung von Phnom Penh 1860 bis 2010 (Thomas Kolnberger), Internationales Asienforum, Vol. 45 (3), pp. 437-439.
  • (2014) Aktuelle Herausforderungen der internationalen (Entwicklungs-)Zusammenarbeit in Südostasien. Nothilfe, Wiederaufbau und Entwicklung im Diskurs (Ed. Rolf Jordan / Gunnar Stange), ASIEN, Vol. 133, pp. 127-129.
  • (2013) Cambodia. Progress and Challenges Since 1991 (Ed. Pou Sothirak / Geoff Wade / Mark Hong), Internationales Asienforum, Vol. 44, Special Issue 1-2 (2013), pp. 171-173.
  • (2011) Beyond Democracy in Cambodia. Political Reconstruction in a Post-Conflict Society (Ed. Joakim Öjendal / Mona Lilja), Internationales Asienforum, Vol. 42 (3-4), pp. 394-395


  • (2019) Winning and losing under Hun Sen‘s win-win policy, Asia Dialogue, online publication.


Lectures and Workshops

  • (2019) Tuol Sleng as a Liminal Power Regime, IAGS Conference, Phnom Penh, July 17
  • (2019) Workshop on Research Methods, Cambodian Senate, Phnom Penh, April 1 - 5
  • (2019) The Social Structure of Political Elites in Dictatorships in Transition: Persistence and Change, Princeton University, March 9 - 10
  • (2018) Torture practices and body knowledge under the Khmer Rouge, MacMillan Center Academic Exchanges, Yale University, USA, November 14
  • (2018) The Social Order of Post-Conflict Transition in Cambodia, Genocide Studies Program, Yale University, USA, October 4
  • (2018) Habitus und Macht in der Soziologie bewaffneter Gruppen, University of Konstanz, May 22
  • (2018) Zur Reproduktion sozialer Ordnungen in kambodschanischen Guerillagruppen, Bundeswehr-Universität München, March 13
  • (2018) Habitus Hermeneutics and the Cambodian Field of Insurgency, Conference: “Biography and Violence. Violent Dynamics and agency in collective processes and individual life histories”, Center of Methods in Social Sciences, University of Göttingen, February 9-10
  • (2018) Zur Sozialstruktur bewaffneter Gruppen, Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict, Ruhr-University Bochum, January 11
  • (2017) Brüche und Persistenzen in Kambodschas kollektiver Ordnung, Forschungsstelle Kultur- und Kollektivwissenschaft, Universität Regensburg, November 10
  • (2017) Ebenen symbolischer Gewalt in der Erforschung bewaffneter Gruppen, Workshop: On the Production of Conflict Knowledge in Ethnology, Area Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies, IAAW, Humboldt University of Berlin, April 6-7
  • (2017) Organization of Workshop: On the Production of Conflict Knowledge in Ethnology, Area Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies, IAAW, Humboldt University of Berlin, April 6-7
  • (2017) Reproduktion sozialer Ungleichheiten in bewaffneten Gruppen, University of Marburg, Research Colloquium at the Center for Conflict Studies, February 13
  • (2016) Habitus and Power Practice in a Cambodian Insurgency, Center for Conflict Studies, University of Marburg, October 20-22
  • (2016) Power and the Social Structure of Insurgencies in Cambodia, February 22, Lehigh University.
  • (2015) Logiken kollektiver Gewalt unter den Roten Khmer, Conference, Berlin: Aghet und Shoah, November 8-10
  • (2014) Soziologie kollektiver Gewalt. Der Massenmord der Roten Khmer in Kambodscha, University of Salzburg, May 20
  • (2013) Habitus, Feld und Macht in der Analyse bewaffneter Gruppen, Workshop AK Gewaltordnungen, Berlin, November 22
  • (2013) Inside the Field of Resistance. Habitus Groups and Power Practice in the Cambodian Civil War after 1979, EuroSEAS conference, Lisbon, July 2-5
  • (2013) Analysing Power Practices in Civil War with Pierre Bourdieu, British Sociological Association, Annual Conference 2013, London, April 5
  • (2013) Sociology of non-state Armed Groups – Workshop ‘Microfoundations of Conflict’, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, February 21-22
  • (2012) Power Practices in non-state Armed Groups. The Cambodian Civil War, 1979-1998 – 7th Asian Graduate Forum, Asian Research Institute, National University of Singapore, July 16-20
  • (2012) Movie Presentation: „Enemies of the People – Die Suche nach der Wahrheit nach dem kambodschanischen Völkermord“, Asian African Institute, University Hamburg, July 4
  • (2012) Khmer Intellectuals at War, 4th Southeast Asia Update, Center for Pacific and Asian Studies (CPAS), Radboud University Nijmegen, June 22



  • WiSe 2019/20: Political Violence, MA course, Institute of Asian and African Studies
  • WiSe 2019/20: Theorien sozialer Ungleichheit, BA course, Institute of Asian and African Studies
  • SoSe 2019: Die politische Elite Kambodschas, BA course, Institute of Asian and African Studies
  • WiSe 2018/19: Die Herrschaft der Roten Khmer: Ursprünge, Strukturen und Auswirkungen, BA course, Institute of Asian and African Studies
  • WiSe 2018/19: Social and political structures in South and Southeast Asia, Lecture (with Dr. Tamer Soyler)
  • SoSe 2018: Grundlagen postkolonialer Theorie II, BA-Seminar, Institute of Asian and African Studies
  • WiSe 2017/18: Grundlagen postkolonialer Theorie I: Strukturalismus und Poststrukturalismus, BA course, Institute of Asian and African Studies
  • WiSe 2017/18: Theorien sozialer Ungleichheit, BA/MA course, Institute of Asian and African Studies
  • WiSe 2017/18: Social and political structures in South and Southeast Asia, Lecture (with Prof. Dr. Boike Rehbein)
  • SoSe 2017: Current Theories of Civil War and Conflicts in Southeast Asia, BA/MA course, Institute of Asian and African Studies
  • SoSe 2017: Machtpolitik und gesellschaftlicher Wandel in Kambodscha unter Hun Sen, BA course, Institute of Asian and African Studies
  • WiSe 2016/17: Understanding Social Inequality, BA/MA course, Institute of Asian and African Studies (with Prof. Dr. Boike Rehbein)
  • SoSe 2016: Die Indochinakriege und ihre Folgen für Kambodscha und Laos, BA course, Institute of Asian and African Studies (with Prof. Dr. Boike Rehbein)