Constructing the nation: Ethnicity, race, modernity and citizenship in early Indonesian thought

R. E. Elson
2005 Asian Ethnicity  
This article examines the ways in which some early twentieth-century Indonesian thinkers conceptualised the state they had so recently imagined, and particularly how they attacked the vast problem of accommodating ethnic difference within the framework of that new state. Notwithstanding the highly promising beginnings of Indonesian self-appreciation in the early twentieth century and an extraordinarily successful cooptation and, as necessary, subjugation of local and regional expressions of
more » ... expressions of ethnicity to the notion of a united Indonesia, there developed at the same time the new and strange concept of an 'Indonesian race'. That concept represented a regressive reluctance to dispense completely with pre-modern notions of culture and belonging, and created a damaging feature of the understanding of Indonesian citizenship that endures to this day.
doi:10.1080/14631360500226556 fatcat:kjimusqrzbapdgfd65ilrtqngq