The decolonization, the violence and the war in Indonesia in the period 1945–1950 should be studied in connection with the international political context. The combatants in Indonesia needed money, arms, food, medicaments and political recognition. The Great Powers 'for their part' attempted to retain or to enlarge their ‘war theatres’ and spheres of influence, whereas the United Nations seemed to be justified by the Indonesian question.

The Subproject International Political Context supports the synthesis and the other projects of the research programme Decolonisation, Violence and War in Indonesia, 1945–1950. The subproject includes a systematic inventory of foreign archives and relevant publications for the benefit of the synthesis and the other projects. The subproject’s main questions are: how did the international community react to the revolution and the war in Indonesia, and how did it try to influence the Dutch and Indonesian exercise of violence?

The project International Political Context will be carried out in two phases. In phase 1 the researchers will conduct an inventory of material in foreign archival collections and compile an overview of the relevant publications. The researchers will be guided by the questions: are there unknown records to be found in these collections and for what other subprojects are these records relevant? They will give priority to relevant archives in the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. Additionaly they will also search for interesting archival material in Belgium, France, India, Australia and Japan.

In phase 2 the themes of this subproject will be determined in consultation with the researchers of the other subprojects. After a revised and definitive project description is made, archival research will be at the centre of this phase. How the findings will be reported will be determined in consultation with the programme management. Independent publication – for example, articles in journals or in edited volumes – is among the possibilities.

The researchers carrying out the subproject International Political Context are Jeroen Kemperman (NIOD) and Tom van den Berge (KITLV).