The Contours of Mass Violence in Indonesia, 1965-1968

Edited by Douglas Kammen and Katharine McGregor

For sale in Europe only
ISBN Paperback: 978 87 7694 110 9, £18.99

 

  •  Uncovers a painful chapter in Indonesian history.
  • Presents case studies from across Indonesia on the violence directed against the political left from 1965 until 1968.
  • Will interest students of Indonesia and those researching mass violence, counter-revolution and the Cold War.

 

The so-called counter coup by General Suharto in 1965 unleashed three year of mass violence aimed at destroying the social bases of President Sukarno's left-leaning Guided Democracy and establishing a military regime that was authoritarian and pro-Western.  In the process, hundreds of thousands of people were killed, tortured, imprisoned and/or faced ongoing discrimination.

This volume helps uncover more details of this painful chapter in Indonesian history.  Students of Indonesia will learn much from the accounts in this volume, but the discussion will also benefit scholars concerned with the dynamics of mass violence, the Cold War, regime change and counter-revolution.

author image not supplied

 Douglas Kammen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore.  His interest in Southeast began in 1983, when he had the opportunity to spend a summer in Solo, Central Java.

 Douglas Kammen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore.  His interest in Southeast began in 1983, when he had the opportunity to spend a summer in Solo, Central Java. At the time he heard a few guarded remarks about dead bodies left in the streets, but had no idea that the state was carrying out a campaign extra-judicial executions known as the ‘Mysterious Killings.’

 

After completing his PhD, Douglas Kammen taught in the Department of Political Science at Canterbury University (1998-2000), was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Universitas Hasanuddin in Makassar (2000-2001), and then taught at the Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosae in Dili (2001-2003). His research interests include labour and social movements, military politics, and popular political thinking.

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by Rommel A. Curaming, University of Brunei Darussalam
From journal:
Social Transformations Vol. 2, No. 2, Aug. 2014

"Despite its appalling magnitude, the 1965–1968 mass killings in Indonesia have been at the fringes of international historical imagination.

(…) The volume under review here is a very notable contribution to our understanding of this complex set of events and their lasting repercussions.

"Despite its appalling magnitude, the 1965–1968 mass killings in Indonesia have been at the fringes of international historical imagination.

(…) The volume under review here is a very notable contribution to our understanding of this complex set of events and their lasting repercussions.

(…) a valuable compilation of articles that significantly enhances our understanding of this tragic historical episode.

(…) The editors, Kammen and McGregor, have done an admirable job in introducing the volume. Providing a succinct overview of the event and a strategically selective yet penetrating review of the problems and approaches in the existing corpus of relevant studies, they clarify the scholarly terrain within which each chapter in the volume may be located.

(…) This volume has contributed more than a fair share to the jigsaw-solving efforts, and in so doing continues the momentum unleashed since the demise of the New Order regime."

by Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid, Universiti Sains Malaysia
From journal:
Kajian Malaysia, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2014

"Neatly edited by two of its convenors, Douglas Kammen and Katharine McGregor, this volume provides compelling reading by bravely tackling head-on what most innocent Indonesians would probably prefer to just gloss over for either fear or shame.

"Neatly edited by two of its convenors, Douglas Kammen and Katharine McGregor, this volume provides compelling reading by bravely tackling head-on what most innocent Indonesians would probably prefer to just gloss over for either fear or shame.

Consisting of ten chapters generally organised around different geographical locations in which the macabre events amounting to the "ideological cleansing" of members and sympathisers of Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI) in 1965–1968 took place, this book dwells on a particularly painful episode of modern Indonesian history which implicates directly or indirectly a slew of stakeholders whose influence on the national political landscape was to extend beyond those years.

In putting forward their arguments, the researchers rely on extensive primary data, as collated from extensive interviews with both victims and perpetrators of the grim purges that transpired during the three-year period."

by Anton O. Zakharov, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
From journal:
Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. 86 Part 2, No. 305, December 2013

"Douglas Kammen and Katharine McGregor have edited a truly insightful volume that outlines contours of mass violence in Indonesia during the 1960s. The volume studies many forms of violence against the Leftists and many clashes between various factions of the right-wing coalition.

"Douglas Kammen and Katharine McGregor have edited a truly insightful volume that outlines contours of mass violence in Indonesia during the 1960s. The volume studies many forms of violence against the Leftists and many clashes between various factions of the right-wing coalition. It takes into account contemporary issues of human rights protection and covers current problems of the democratization process. Last, but not least, it invites further research."

by Chris Wilson, University of Auckland
From journal:
www.historicaldialogues.org, October 29, 2013

"The Contours of Mass Violence in Indonesia, 1965-68 must surely be the best compilation of information on the killings. The exact reasons and masterminds behind the coup will perhaps always remain unclear. But this edited volume provides a detailed account and compelling explanation of the destruction that followed.

"The Contours of Mass Violence in Indonesia, 1965-68 must surely be the best compilation of information on the killings. The exact reasons and masterminds behind the coup will perhaps always remain unclear. But this edited volume provides a detailed account and compelling explanation of the destruction that followed. Unlike many edited volumes, the book provides a coherent narrative and complimentary analysis that provide a comprehensive account of the killings.

…By collating the complexity of the events in a clear manner this book provides an invaluable resource for students of Indonesian history and politics and of mass killing and genocide.

…The book makes a substantial contribution to the study of mass killing and genocide by providing information of direct relevance to some of the main puzzles in conflict study.

…This volume is an exceptional synthesis of local knowledge, insightful analysis, detail, and clarity of expression. I would recommend it highly to any scholar or student of the history and politics of Indonesia, to those interested in how the Cold War played out within frontline states and to those seeking to understand the dynamics and causes of mass killing and genocide."

by Gerry van Klinken
From journal:
Inside Indonesia

The Contours of Mass Violence brings together historical research by foreign and Indonesian scholars. It is well-edited, and will make great university classroom material. International complicity in the crimes becomes devastatingly clear in a chapter by Bradley Simpson. A series of regional studies by both well-known and younger scholars bring to light a wealth of new material.

The Contours of Mass Violence brings together historical research by foreign and Indonesian scholars. It is well-edited, and will make great university classroom material. International complicity in the crimes becomes devastatingly clear in a chapter by Bradley Simpson. A series of regional studies by both well-known and younger scholars bring to light a wealth of new material.

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