Roel Frakking is a postdoctoral researcher at the KITLV who specializes in colonial violence in general and the late-colonial Netherlands East Indies and British Malaya in particular. As of September first, he is part of the ‘The Decolonisation, Violence and War in Indonesia, 1945-1950’ project, in which he is responsible for the regional studies as part of the latter project.
Roel studied English Language and Culture at the Utrecht of Utrecht (with minors in Conflict Studies and Journalism) and International Relations in Historical Perspective, graduating with honours with a thesis on the Plantation Guard during the Indonesian war of independence (1945-1950). In May 2017 he successfully defended his thesis called ‘Collaboration is a Very Delicate Concept: Alliance-Formation and the Colonial Defence of Indonesia and Malaysia, 1945-1957’ at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. This thesis is a case study in the interface of late European empires and colonized societies. Specifically, it investigates how the Dutch and British empires sought to recruit local supporters in Indonesia and Malaysia respectively and how these locals negotiated decolonization to their own ends and interests.