Islam, State and Rebellion in the Indonesian Archipelago

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Kirsten Schulze E600


This course is available on the MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation, MSc in History of International Relations, MSc in International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International and World History (LSE & Columbia) and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course looks at the Indonesian archipelago from the early modern/colonial period to the present day. It will focus on the dynamics of state and rebellion and centre and periphery relations as well as the dynamics of ‘empire’ looking both at external and internal imperialism/colonisation. The seminars will cover: the European scramble for the Spice Islands and indigenous rebellions; the establishment of the colonial state by the Dutch and local resistance in Maluku, Java and Aceh; anti-colonialism, Islam and the development of Indonesian nationalism; the Japanese occupation during the Second World War and Indo-Japanese cooperation against the Dutch; the Indonesian war of independence and the establishment of the Republic under Sukarno; regional rebellions against Sukarno’s state: the Darul Islam uprisings, the Republic of South Maluku uprising and the PRRI/Permesta rebellions; the PKI ‘attempted takeover’ and the rise to power of Suharto; Suharto’s New Order state and expansion into Dutch New Guinea and Portuguese Timor; regional rebellions in East Timor, Aceh, and Irian Jaya; the fall of Suharto and the reformasi governments under BJ Habibie, Abdurrahman Wahid, Megawati Sukarnoputri and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and inter-communal, separatist, and Islamist challenges to the state.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of seminars in the LT. 4 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

A 3,000-word essay (Michaelmas Term), an optional second 3,000 word essay (Lent Term), and a timed essay (Summer Term).

Indicative reading

MC Riklefs, A history of modern Indonesia since c1200 The Defining Years of the Dutch East Indies 1942-1949: survivors' accounts of Japanese invasion and enslavement of Europeans and the revolution that created free Indonesia
Bernhard Dahm, Sukarno and the Indonesian struggle for independence
Helen Louise Hunter, Sukarno and the Indonesian coup: the untold story
Ben Van Kaam, The South Moluccas: Background to the Train Hijackings
Michael Vatikiotis, Indonesia under Suharto
Harold Crouch, The Army and Politics
Edward Aspinall, Opposing Suharto: compromise, resistance and regime change in Indonesia
Kirsten Schulze, The Free Aceh Movement (GAM): Anatomy of a Separatist Organization
Jamie Davidson, From Rebellion to Riots: Collective Violence on Indonesian Borneo
Edward Aspinall, Islam and nation: Separatist rebellion in Aceh, Indonesia
John Sidel, Riots, Pogroms, Jihad: Religious Violence in Indonesia
Gert Arend Van Klinken, Communal Violence and Democratisation in Indonesia: Small Town Wars


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 3000 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: International History

Total students 2012/13: Unavailable

Average class size 2012/13: Unavailable

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information