Hendrik Spruyt

in Exit Strategies and State Building

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199760114
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199949991 | DOI:

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Similar to other colonial withdrawals, the Dutch exit from Indonesia was influenced by the balance of power, metropolitan ideology, and the nature of the nationalist regime. The Dutch-Indonesian case was further complicated by the instability of the home government. Fragile coalitions in The Hague impeded compromise, leading the government to try to defeat the nationalists by force. Third parties also played a important role in determining the eventual outcome: the United States and Britain exercised their leverage to induce the combatants to compromise. The Indonesian nationalists assured themselves of third-party support by repudiating communist influences. The Indonesian Republic’s willingness to embrace a nascent parliamentary democracy led Dutch interest groups to realize that a negotiated settlement with a noncommunist regime was acceptable. These factors led to the Round Table Agreement of 1949 and Dutch withdrawal.

Keywords: Netherlands; Indonesia; police action; mediation; United Nations; United States; credible commitment

Chapter.  8351 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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