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Dutch Military Operations in Indonesia, 1945-1950


Admission requirements

  • Reading ability of Dutch-language archival and printed sources.


After the declaration of Indonesian independence on 17 August 1945, the Dutch government entered in a simultaneous process of negotiations and military actions in a vain effort to control the process of decolonization. Since the late 1960s, there has been much debate about the nature of Dutch military actions and particularly about the question whether recorded ‘excesses’ were indeed incidental or rather structural. In this MA research seminar, students will conduct research in egodocuments as well as in archival sources to find answers to these questions.

Course objectives

By reading relevant parts of the extant historical as well as theoretical literature, students will be familiarized with the issues at stake. Research in Dutch-language archival and printed sources will help them to learn how historians work with such primary sources and at the same time how they handle the study of highly contested issues in recent history.


See here.

Mode of instruction

Research seminar.

Course Load

Roughly, the distribution of time will be as follows:

  • Reading of literature, writing of annotations: 60 hours.

  • Seminar attendance and (preparation of) class presentations: 40 hours.

  • Research and writing of research paper: 180 hours.

A detailed program will be announced at a later stage.

Assessment method

During the course, students will write several short papers, first on the literature to be studied, next on methods and finally and most importantly, on the conclusions that may be drawn from the sources studied.

  • Participation in class, presentations: 30 %.

  • Research paper: 70%.


Depending on the number of participants.

Reading list

See Blackboard.


via uSis.

Contact information

With the tutor: Prof. Dr. G.J. Oostindie.


For further information, see the website