Role Of The Dutch Colonial Rule

1410 Words Dec 6th, 2015 6 Pages
In this write-up I will argue that despite factors such as different identities, the largely prevalent separatist conflicts in Indonesia are mainly based on resources. I will attempt to demonstrate that identity was instrumentalized in the colonial times to gain political and economic control, and that spilled over to an internal colonialism in Indonesia in contemporary times. This created the foundation for the Central government to instrumentalize constructed identities to gain economic control over the resource rich minority islands, which led to violent separatist conflicts throughout the archipelago.

To begin with we can examine the role of the Dutch colonial rule in the Dutch East Indies and how they laid the foundation for instrumentalist manipulation. With 13,466 islands, 360 ethnic groups and 719 languages the Dutch were extremely aware of the diversity that prevailed in this region (The Economist, 2014). These various ethnicities and communities lived in peace prior to the Dutch role. However upon the exit of the Dutch, this peace was shattered. The main purpose of exerting control over Indonesia can best be explained by Immanuel Wallersteins world systems theory. “It characterizes the world system as a set of mechanisms, which redistributes surplus value from the periphery to the core” (Barfield, 1997). In the capitalist world-system, the West makes up the ‘core’, while the regions of Aceh and West Papua make up the ‘periphery’. In these regions…
Open Document