Approximately one million innocent Indonesians were killed by their
fellow nationals, neighbours and kin at the height of an
anti-communist campaign in the mid-1960s. This book investigates
the profound political consequences of these mass killings in
Indonesia upon public life, highlighting the historical
specificities of the violence and comparable incidents of identity
politics in more recent times. Mixing theory with empirically based
analysis, the book examines how the spectre of communism and the
trauma experienced in the latter half of the 1960s remain critical
in understanding the dynamics of terror, coercion and consent
today. Heryanto challenges the general belief that the periodic
anti-communist witch-hunts of recent Indonesian history are largely
a political tool used by a powerful military elite and
authoritarian government. Despite the profound importance of the
1965-6 events it remains one of most difficult and sensitive topics
for public discussion in Indonesia today. State Terrorism and
Political Identity in Indonesia is one of the first books to fully
discuss the mass killings, shedding new light on a largely unspoken
and unknown part of Indonesia's history.
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