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Decolonization and Internationalization (1940–1975)

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Chapter Summary

A long-standing discussion is ongoing among Dutch historians regarding the consequences of the Second World War for the Netherlands. All agree that the war put an end to the politics of neutrality and resulted in the decolonization of Indonesia. The obstinate refusal by the Netherlands to relinquish New Guinea to Indonesia resulted in a serious conflict between the former colony and the colonizer. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Wertheim's rejection of colonialism and neocolonialism in Indonesia and his adoration of the Maoism of the People's Republic of China contained a strong element of occidentalism: a negative, generalizing concept of the West characterized by capitalist exploitation, colonial and neocolonial imperialism and racist elitism. The primary innovators in this decolonization and internationalization of the Indonesian language and literature programme were the professors Uhlenbeck and Teeuw. Like other social sciences, cultural anthropology and non-western sociology experienced enormous growth after the war.

Keywords: decolonization; Dutch historians; Netherlands; New Guinea; occidentalism; racist elitism; Second World War; Teeuw; Uhlenbeck; W.F. Wertheim



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