Colonial Counterinsurgency and Mass Violence: The Dutch Empire in Indonesia

1st Edition

Bart Luttikhuis, A. Dirk Moses

Published June 18, 2014
Reference - 358 Pages
ISBN 9780415856836 - CAT# Y151943
Series: Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia

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Whether out of historical interest, romantic identification with the colonized or as models for contemporary counter-insurgency experts, the mass violence of insurgency and counter-insurgency in the post-war decolonization of the European empires has long exerted an intense fascination. In the main, the dramas in French Algeria and British Kenya in the 1950s have dominated the scene, overshadowing the equally violent events that unfolded in the Dutch, Belgian and Portuguese empires. Colonial counterinsurgency and mass violence is the first book in English to treat the intense conflict that occurred during the ‘Indonesian revolution’—the decolonization struggle of the Dutch East Indies between 1945 and 1949. This case is particularly significant as the first episode of post-war colonial violence, indeed one with global reverberations. International opinion was ranged against the Dutch, and the nascent United Nations condemned its euphemistically termed ‘police actions’ to reclaim the archipelago from Indonesian nationalists after defeat by the Japanese in 1942. As this book makes clear, however, intra-Indonesian violence was no less prevalent, as rival independence visions vied for control and villagers were caught between the fronts. Taking a multi-perspectival approach, eighteen authors examine the origins of the conflict as well as its representational and memory dimensions. Colonial counterinsurgency and mass violence will appeal to scholars of imperial history, mass violence and memory studies alike.

This book is based on a special issue of the Journal of Genocide Research.

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