Organized Forest Violence, Reorganized Forest Access, 1942–1966

Nancy Lee Peluso

in Rich Forests, Poor People

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 1992 | ISBN: 9780520073777
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520915534 | DOI:
Organized Forest Violence, Reorganized Forest Access, 1942–1966

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This chapter examines overt and organized forest-based conflict during three recent periods: the Japanese occupation (1942–1945), the Indonesian revolution (1945–1949), and the Soekarno regime (1949–1966). An open struggle between the forces of state control of forests and local use of them began with the Japanese occupation of Java and continued into the four-year period during which the Javanese fought for Indonesian independence against returning Dutch and British forces. As it turned out, the Japanese occupation of Java constituted only the first part of two decades of battles fought within and over Java's forests. The effects of the violence were felt not only by the increasingly organized contenders for control over the forest (and the state), but also by the forest itself. The two and a half decades from 1942 to 1967 constituted the most explosive period in Java's modern history; upheaval did not end with the achievement of Indonesian independence in 1949. The physical revolution (against the Dutch) lasted for only four years; social revolution, impelling reconfiguration of national and regional consciousness, raged for decades longer. Both left marks on the forests.

Keywords: forests; state control; Java; Indonesian independence

Chapter.  13962 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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