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The Political Economy of Mass Murder: Indonesia's 1965-1966 Killings and the Cold War
Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018
4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
303 International Center
Asian Studies Center
Event Details:
Brad Simpson is Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies at the University of Connecticut, and the author of Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and U.S. - Indonesian Relations, 1960-1968 (Stanford 2008) which explores the intersection of anti-Communism and development thinking in shaping U.S. Indonesian relations. He is founder and director of the Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project at the National Security Archive, which has declassified thousands of pages of classified U.S. documents on Indonesia and human rights. Simpson is currently writing a global history of the idea of self-determination and an international history of authoritarian rule in Indonesia.
The 1965-1966 mass killings in Indonesia which brought General Suharto to power were one of the decisive events of the Cold War in Asia. While most scholars have focused attention on the mechanics of the killings themselves, they have paid less attention to the Western response to them, and the ways that the United States and other Western powers helped to shape the conditions under which the army would consolidate its power and to reorganize Indonesia's political economy at a crucial moment in the global Cold War.