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Open Access A Crazy State

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A Crazy State

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Violence, Psychiatry, and Colonialism in Aceh, Indonesia, ca. 1910–1942

This article investigates the ways in which the Dutch colonial state dealt with a phenomenon known as the Atjeh-moorden (‘Aceh murders’), the persistent suicide-attacks directed at the lives of Dutch residents, committed by Acehnese hoping to become syahid (martyrs to the Islamic faith). Concentrating on the development of colonial psychiatry, and its influence on colonial discourses and practices, I show how Dutch dealings with the Atjeh-moorden were, simultaneously, part and parcel of the construction of an Acehnese subject, and indicative of the administrative ambivalence found in the approach of the colonial state toward violence and criminality.

Affiliations: 1: KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies davidkloos@gmail.com

10.1163/22134379-17001003
/content/journals/10.1163/22134379-17001003
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This article investigates the ways in which the Dutch colonial state dealt with a phenomenon known as the Atjeh-moorden (‘Aceh murders’), the persistent suicide-attacks directed at the lives of Dutch residents, committed by Acehnese hoping to become syahid (martyrs to the Islamic faith). Concentrating on the development of colonial psychiatry, and its influence on colonial discourses and practices, I show how Dutch dealings with the Atjeh-moorden were, simultaneously, part and parcel of the construction of an Acehnese subject, and indicative of the administrative ambivalence found in the approach of the colonial state toward violence and criminality.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22134379-17001003
2014-01-01
2016-12-04

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