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The Late-Colonial Rise of Indology (1914–1940)

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Chapter Summary

The healthy economic climate created favourable conditions for the many reforms introduced in the Indies within the framework of ethical policies. With the ethical policy of prosperity and education, spending patterns experienced extensive changes. With the rise of Indonesian nationalism under the influence of the colonial modernization process, the political consensus that initially characterized these ethical politics was soon lost. Within the framework of the Indology programme in Leiden and KITLV, the study of and support for adat law grew during the Interbellum into a giant, omnipotent and interdisciplinary project. The representative of a new generation of anthropologists in KITLV, however, De Josselin de Jong, was a culture relativist to a much stronger degree. He wholeheartedly rejected racism, orientalism and other manifestations of the Eurocentric superiority philosophy. He criticized the universalistic-evolutionistic paradigm of his predecessors, albeit that a core of universalism was evident in his own structuralistic paradigm in anthropology.

Keywords: adat law; colonial modernization process; ethical policies; Indology programme; Indonesian nationalism; KITLV; orientalism; P.E. de Josselin de Jong; racism



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