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Asselin, Pierre

Asselin, Pierre

NIAS-THEME Group Fellow

Comparing the Wars of Decolonization. Counterinsurgency and Extreme Violence, 1945-1962

The project’s main question will be what structural comparative research teaches us about forms and scale of, the motives for and the conditions conducive to the use of (extreme) violence by Dutch security forces during their attempt to re-establish authority during the Indonesian struggle for Independence (1945-1949).

Project Description

The violent Dutch response to the Indonesian struggle for independence (1945-1949) has been seriously underrepresented in the international historical debate on the wars of decolonization. Compounding this neglect, historians have neglected a systematic comparison of (extreme forms of) colonial violence by the various imperial powers. Triggered by revelations of the structural nature of Dutch atrocities, this project seeks to address this hiatus in order to structurally improve our understanding of the scale and forms of, motives for, and the conditions conducive to the extreme use of violence used during the counter-insurgency campaigns in Indonesia, Algeria, French-Indochina and the various British colonies.

Selected Publications

Vietnam’s American War: A History (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Hanoi’s Road to the Vietnam War, 1954-1965 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013 [hardcover], 2015 [paperback]).

A Bitter Peace: Washington, Hanoi, and the Making of the Paris Agreement (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002).

 

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