[Extended deadline and changed format] Transitioning to a new life: Post-conflict trajectories of former combatants in South and Southeast Asia, 1945-present

Bart Luttikhuis's picture
November 6, 2020 to November 7, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Asian History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Military History, South Asian History / Studies, Southeast Asian History / Studies

Call for Papers for a Workshop at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 6-7 November 2020.
Bart Luttikhuis (luttikhuis@kitlv.nl), in cooperation with Peter Keppy (p.keppy@niod.knaw.nl) and Abdul Wahid (kang_ahid@ugm.ac.id)

NB: Due to the uncertainty as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, we have amended the format of this workshop and extended the deadline for abstracts accordingly. We plan to go ahead with the workshop in November 2020, but if the pandemic makes it impossible to meet physically (or makes it impossible for certain participants to join in person), we will switch to a digital format. We will make a final decision on the format by 31 August 2020 at the latest. 

In the study of post-conflict transitions, a leading question has been how former soldiers and non-state combatants can ‘return to society’. Former combatants have often played key roles in the political developments of their respective societies, and in cases of renewed conflict frequently were key players. In this workshop, we are interested in the various trajectories that former combatants in countries across South and Southeast Asia have charted for themselves, and the ways in which their respective governments have tried – with more or less success – to deal with the problems associated with the ‘reintegration’ of former combatants. 

From our ongoing historical research on Indonesia in the 1940s and 1950s, and from studies on Africa presented at our previous workshop in January 2020, it is clear that the scores of unemployed and socially disrupted veterans (of both the official army and unofficial militias) constituted a complicated problem. After a decade or more of continuing flare-ups of violence and ultimately unsuccessful state-led efforts at pacification and re-integration, many veterans were once again mobilized in both non-state and semi-state (armed) organization. Others became involved in political activism of various kinds. Either way, the trajectories of these people invariable had profound consequences for the political development of their respective societies.

In our workshop on 6-7 November 2020, we hope to explore comparative studies into similar processes throughout South and Southeast Asian, especially in the second half of the twentieth century. We are interested in historical studies on veterans’ movementsviolent non-state actors‘reintegration’ policies, or post-conflict pacification. We are especially still looking for speakers working on Myanmar, Malaysia, and Vietnam, but other cases from South and Southeast Asia are equally welcome.

This workshop at UGM Yogyakarta is organized in cooperation with KITLV (Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies) Leiden. We have funding available to cover travel costs and accommodation (up to a reasonable maximum). Depending on the developments around the coronavirus pandemic, we will either meet in Yogyakarta or if necessary switch to a digital seminar. If you would like to join us, please send us an abstract by 15 June 2020 and we will get in touch with you. If invited, full papers will be expected by 20 October 2020. We are working towards publishing an edited volume (for which Amsterdam University Press has expressed interest).

Contact Info: 

Bart Luttikhuis, researcher, Leiden University

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