1st Edition

Power and Knowledge in Southeast Asia State and Scholars in Indonesia and the Philippines

By Rommel Curaming Copyright 2020
    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    Examining two state-sponsored history writing projects in Indonesia and the Philippines in the 1970s, this book illuminates the contents and contexts of the two projects and, more importantly, provides a nuanced characterization of the relationship between embodiments of power (state, dictators, government officials) and knowledge (intellectuals, historians, history).

    Known respectively as Sejarah Nasional Indonesia (SNI) and the Tadhana project, these projects were initiated by the Suharto and Marcos authoritarian regimes against the backdrop of rising and competing nationalisms, as well as the regimes’ efforts at political consolidation. The dialectics between actors and the politico-academic contexts determine whether scholarship and politics would clash, mutually support, or co-exist parallel with one another. Rather than one side manipulating or co-opting the other, this study shows the mutual need or partnership between scholars and political actors in these projects. This book proposes the need to embrace rather than deny or transcend the entwined power/knowledge if the idea is for scholarship to realize its truly progressive visions.

    Analyzing the dynamics of state–scholar relations in the two countries, the book will be of interest to academics in the fields on Southeast Asian history and politics, nationalism, historiography, intellectual history, postocolonial studies, cultural studies, and the sociology of knowledge.

    List of tables




    Introduction: power and knowledge

    1 Indonesia and the Philippines: a contextual comparison

    2 Genesis of Tadhana project

    3 Tadhana in political and historiographic contexts

    4 The making of Sejarah Nasional Indonesia (SNI)

    5 SNI: contents and contexts

    6 The calculus of power–knowledge relations





    Rommel A. Curaming is Senior Assistant Professor at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD). His areas of research include comparative historiography, history and memory of violence, historical theory, and knowledge politics in Southeast Asia, mainly Indonesia and the Philippines.