In the Summer of 2021, Gert Oostindie will publish a monograph summarizing the extant historiography and the results of the present research program. Obviously the definitive composition and contents of this synthesis will only be decided upon once the various projects within the program are nearing completion. Nonetheless, a preliminary table of contents was drafted and approved early in 2017. This draft serves to give guidance to the researchers in the various projects, whose work will be incorporated in the synthesis. This is the provisional t.o.c.:

  • Preface. Introduction to the entire program; background, methods. Composition of the synthesis. Emphasis on Dutch/Dutch East Indian dimension, but with due attention to developments on the Indonesian side.
  • 1. Introduction. Historical synopsis up to the transfer of sovereignty. Post-war legacies, interpretations and debates. Summary of the main questions and conclusions deriving from earlier studies, the entire research program and the present synthesis.
  • 2. The political arena. Indonesian nationalism and the Revolution. Dutch reactions: in society, politics and governance, the army. The international political context.
  • 3. From the Japanese occupation to the bersiap. Militarization and political radicalization. Characteristics, context and trajectory of the bersiap. Impact on later violence.
  • 4. The parties at war. The formation of Indonesian (para)military apparatus and military strategy. The Dutch army: pre-war traditions, post-1945 (re)construction, relations between the various entities, military culture.
  • 5. Character and trajectory of the war. Development over time and place. The significance of local authority. Guerrilla and counter-guerrilla. Casualties on both sides.
  • 6. Mass violence/war crimes: character and frequency. Legal definitions, military uses and instructions, ethical opinions about the acceptability of military violence. Conclusion: was mass violence used in a structural/systemic manner?
  • 7. Mass violence/war crimes: explanations. Sources and narratives on both sides. Motivation, prevention, punishment. Perpetrators and victims. Awareness in the Dutch and Dutch East Indian government and military and beyond that in politics and the mass media.
  • 8. Divided perceptions and the legacy. Post-war bilateral relations and treaties about amnesty and reparations. Polarization and reconciliation. Remembrance, forgetting, silencing, on both sides. Development over time; generational change.
  • 9. A comparative perspective. Comparison to the French, British, Portuguese wars of decolonization. Similarities and variations in post-war reckonings, both in society and scholarship.

This project is carried out by: Gert Oostindie