Webinar on the Far Right in Indonesia

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The Far Right in Indonesia (1918-1942)

This talk will examine the emergence and collapse of the far-right in colonial Indonesia (the Dutch East Indies) in 1918-1942. This political scene was principally characterised by reactions against the Dutch colonial government’s so-called ‘Ethical Policy’ which offered Indonesians a vague prospect of independence and tolerance of native political organisation, and the emergence of fascism in the Netherlands and the Indies. As such the Indonesian far-right was above all a product of the white settler (totok) population, represented by groups like the Fatherland Club and the Dutch Indies Fascist Organisation, and the Indonesian branches of the Dutch National Socialist Movement in the thirties. However, these far-right politics also crossed racial lines and held appeal for Indo-European beneficiaries of the imperial system, while fascist ideas and tactics also found traction among Indonesian nationalist organisations such as the Partai Indonesia Raja. This was partially made possible by uncommonly relaxed attitudes towards race in the Dutch fascist organisations. The Indonesian far-right in this era was thus heavily characterised by transnational movements facilitated by imperial structures and contexts, and consequently collapsed alongside those structures with the onset of the Second World War.

Dr Nathaniël Kunkeler is postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Research on Extremism (C-REX), at the University of Oslo. They research violent right-wing networks in North-Western Europe in the wake of the Russian Revolution, and how (para)military volunteer actors in foreign and colonial conflicts facilitated the networks’ development, looking particularly at actors from the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. As such they are particularly interested in political radicalisation through transnational contacts and brutalisation through exposure to military violence and terror. They have previously published on the subjects of Swedish and Dutch fascism, including a monograph on myth-making practices and respectability in the 1930s (Making Fascism in Sweden and the Netherlands, Bloomsbury Academic: 2021), based on their PhD thesis at the University of Cambridge. Alongside their research they currently teach at the Institute of Archaeology, Conservation, and History at the University of Oslo.

This webinar will have on short presentation followed by a Q&A session, moderated by Eviane Leidig.

The Global Perspectives on the Far Right webinar series

The webinar series Global perspectives on the Far Right is co-hosted by C-REX and ICCT (International Centre for Counter-Terrorism - The Hague), and takes place every first Wednesday of the month. The webinars last for one hour from 15:00-16:00 CET, unless indicated otherwise due to speakers’ time zone differences. This webinar series is a continuation of the C-REX hosted webinars that took place from February-July 2021.

The regions covered are largely inspired by the new Manchester University Press book series, ‘Global Studies of the Far Right’, co-founded and co-edited by C-REX affiliate scholar Eviane Leidig

The webinar will have one short presentation followed by a Q&A session, moderated by Professor Cas Mudde or Eviane Leidig.

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Published May 20, 2022 2:35 PM - Last modified June 17, 2022 11:11 AM