Skip to main content

From Sabang to Merauke: Nationalist secession movements in Indonesia

Buy Article:

$43.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Popular movements in Aceh and Papua seeking separation from Indonesia must be understood in the context of earlier nationalist movements in history, including Indonesia's own movement for independence from the Netherlands. Movements in Aceh and Papua have built a sense of identity, considering themselves to be ‘notion-states’ even if they are not yet nation-states. This process parallels Indonesian identity formation in the early twentieth century. Aceh originally combined local, Indonesian and Islamic identities, but intrusion by central government institutions sparked a defensive nationalist reaction, which was stimulated further by uneven economic development and by repressive tactics by the centre. Papua was incorporated into Indonesia by means that led local people to believe they had been denied their right to self-determination, spurring a historical sense of grievance and a collective identity of shared suffering much like that in Aceh. By the end of Sukarno's Guided Democracy and Suharto's New Order, both territories had passed a point of no return in their nationalism. Repressive tactics have failed to contain aspirations for independence; a new approach based on dialogue is needed.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Aceh; East Timor; Indonesia; Papua; nationalism; separatism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of History, University of Toronto, 100 St. George Street #2074, Toronto ON M5S-3G3, Canada., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2007-04-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more