Conference Comparing the wars of decolonization

On June 20, 2019, in the Amsterdam Public Library, the conference Comparing the wars of decolonization: Extreme violence during reoccupation and counter-insurgency, 1945-1975 took place. During this conference, the NIAS Theme group Comparing the Wars of Decolonization presented its preliminary results. This project engages in comparative research in order to learn more about causes, forms and nature of (extreme) violence by Dutch military forces in their attempt to re-establish colonial authority during the Indonesian struggle for independence (1945-1949). The day after, on June 21, 2019, an academic workshop was held, during which the results were discussed in a wider context.

The past few months researchers from the research program worked together with international researchers. They presented their preliminary results during the conference. These will be published as a forum in the BMGN – Low Countries Historical Review (2020) and in an edited volume with Cornell University Press (2021). The keynote, given by professor Raphaëlle Branche (University of Rouen), can be read on our website. In her keynote, she addressed the public uses of history in relation to decolonization violence in France and other former colonial powers.

Professor Raphaëlle Branche during her keynote.

Save the date: November 2, 2019.

On Saturday November 2, 2019 a public meeting will take place at the National Archives (The Hague). During this meeting we will focus on (archival) research: what does research look like in practice? Which sources are used and what do they tell us? How do the researchers deal with inconsistencies in the sources? And how do they ensure sufficient multiperspectivity? The researchers share experiences from their research practice in workshops. In addition, the National Archives give a number of workshops on archival research, as well as tours in the depot. Keep an eye on our website and newsletter for the program and registration!

Do you have any questions about the research programme? We will be happy to answer them. Please contact us via We already answered a number of frequented asked questions here.
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