Kosal Path

Position: Associate Professor

Campus Affiliation: Graduate Center | Brooklyn College

E-mail: kosalpath@brooklyn.cuny.edu

Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D., University of Southern California – 2008 (International Relations)

Research Interests: Asian international relations and peace/conflict research. Within this field, he specializes in the role of nationalism/national identities in shaping foreign policy discourses in East and Southeast Asia. His specific expertise includes 1) relations between Vietnam, China, and Cambodia; 2) domestic and foreign policy of Vietnam; 3) the Cambodian genocide.

Kosal Path is an associate professor of political science at Brooklyn College. From 2018 to 2012, he was chair of Master’s Program in International Affairs and Global Justice. He is a survivor of the Cambodian genocide. From 1995 to 2000, he took part in documenting the atrocities committed by the Pol Pot regime, 1975-79, as a researcher for the Yale University’s Cambodian Genocide Program and deputy director of the Phnom Penh-based Documentation Center of Cambodia. From 2009 to 2011, he taught international relations at the University of Southern California where he received an award of excellence in teaching international relations. At Brooklyn College, he received Whiting Award for teaching excellence in 2015-2016. His main teaching interests are international relations, genocide, and human rights. He is the author of Vietnam’s Strategic Thinking During the Third Indochina War (The University of Wisconsin Press, 2020).


Vietnam’s Strategic Thinking during the Third Indochina War (New Perspectives in SE Asian Studies) – 2020

When costly efforts to cement a strategic partnership with the Soviet Union failed, the combined political pressure of economic crisis at home and imminent external threats posed by a Sino-Cambodian alliance compelled Hanoi to reverse course. Moving away from the Marxist-Leninist ideology that had prevailed during the last decade of the Cold War era, the Vietnamese government implemented broad doi moi (“renovation”) reforms intended to create a peaceful regional environment for the country’s integration into the global economy.
In contrast to earlier studies, Path traces the moving target of these changing policy priorities, providing a vital addition to existing scholarship on asymmetric wartime decision-making and alliance formation among small states. The result uncovers how this critical period had lasting implications for the ways Vietnam continues to conduct itself on the global stage.

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