Roots of Violence in Indonesia

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About the Publication

Jakarta, Sambas, Poso, the Molucccas, West Papua. These simple, geographical names have recently obtained strong associations with mass killing, just as Aceh and East Timor, where large-scale violence has flared up again. Lethal incidents between adjacent villages, or between a petty criminal and the crowd, take place throughout Indonesia. Many Indonesia-watchers, both scholars and journalists, explain the violence in terms of the loss of the monopoly on the means of violence by the state since the beginning of Reformasi in 1998. Others point at the omnipresent remnants of the New Order state (1966-98), former President Suharto's clan or the army in particular, as the being behind the present bloodshed. The authors in this volume try to explain violence in Indonesia by looking at it in historical perspective.

Co-publication: ISEAS / KITLV

Institute of Southeast Asian Studies / KITLV Press


1. Introduction, by Freek Colombijn, J Thomas Lindblad, authors
2. A Genealogy of Violence, by Henk Schulte Nordholt , author
3. Telling Tales, Cutting Throats: The Guts of Putu Wijaya, by Henk M J Maier, author
4. State Violence and the Police in Colonial Indonesia Circa 1920: Exploration of a Theme, by Elsbeth Locher-Scholten, author
5. Generalized Violence: A Case Study of the Ombilin Coal Mines, 1892-1996, by Erwiza Erman, author
6. Violence on North Sumatra's Plantations, by Budi Agustono, author
7. Shadows of an Unseen Hand: Some Patterns of Violence in the Indonesian Revolution, 1945-1949, by William H Frederick, author
8. In Fear of the People: Suharto and the Justification of State-Sponsored Violence Under the New Order, by R E Elson, author
9. It's the Military, Stupid!, by Liem Soei Liong, author
10. From Total People's Defence to Massacre: Explaining Indonesian Military Violence in East Timor, by Robert Cribb, author
11. The Fruitless Search for a Smoking Gun: Tracing the Origins of Violence in East Timor, by Geoffrey Robinson, author
12. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Explaining the Unexplainable: Amuk Massa in Indonesia, by Kees van Dijk, author
13. Maling, Maling! The Lynching of Petty Criminals, by Freek Colombijn, author
Notes on Contributors, Index

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