'Collaboration is a very delicate concept' : alliance-formation and the colonial defence of Indonesia and Malaysia, 1945-1957
Title: 'Collaboration is a very delicate concept' : alliance-formation and the colonial defence of Indonesia and Malaysia, 1945-1957
Author: FRAKKING, Roel
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2017
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
'Collaboration is a Very Delicate Concept : Alliance-formation and the Wars of Independence in Indonesia and Malaysia, 1945-1957' is a case study in the interface between late colonial empires and colonized societies. Unlike traditional studies that continue to focus on British or Dutch (military-political) efforts to open specific avenues towards independence, the thesis analyses how local elites, their constituencies or individuals determined and navigated their own course— through violent insurgencies—towards independence. The thesis dispenses with (colonial) notions of ‘loyalty’ and ‘colonizedcolonizer’. Instead, it takes the much more fluid concept of local allianceformation and combines it with theories on territorial control to elucidate why certain individuals or groups co-operated with colonial authorities one moment only to switch to the freedom fighters’ side the next. In showing the complexities and ambiguities of association, the thesis advocates and executes an agenda that transcends the narrow politicaldiplomatic scope of decolonization to restore the agency and motivations of local political parties, communities and individuals. The red thread throughout the thesis, then, is that Indonesians, Chinese and Malays pursued their own, narrow—often violent—interests to survive and secure a (political) future beyond decolonization. Ultimately, the limits of alliance-formation are probed. The search for territorial control by colonial and anti-colonial forces necessitated zero-sum outcomes to pre-empt alliance breakdowns. As such, coercion remained the major motivational force during decolonization: coercion local communities participated in more than has been hitherto acknowledged in relation to the decolonization of Southeast Asia.
Defence date: 8 May 2017; Examining Board: Professor A. Dirk Moses, EUI (Supervisor); Professor L. Riall, EUI; Professor M. Thomas, University of Exeter (external adviser); Professor P. Romijn, NOID Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Type of Access: embargoedAccess
Preceding version: http://hdl.handle.net/1814/46348
Version: Chapter 2 ‘Collaboration is a Very Delicate Concept’: The Negara Pasundan and the Malayan Chinese Association' of the PhD thesis draws upon an earlier version published as an article 'Gathered on the Point of a Bayonet': The Negara Pasundan and the Colonial Defence of Indonesia, 1946-50' in the journal ‘International history review'