Introduction: The Dutch East Indies and Europe, ca. 1800-1930. An Empire of Demands and Opportunities

Bernhard C. Schär
vormen van samenwerking en integratie van Europeanen mogelijk en noodzakelijk maakte, alsook interacties met Zuidoost-Aziatische gemeenschappen. the dutch east indies and europe 5 schär Deze interacties worden in dit themanummer onderzocht op het gebied van natuurwetenschap, reizen, museale collecties, landbouw, koloniale oorlogsvoering en fotografie. Imperialism as European history 1 Two years ago, Susan Legêne argued in this journal that 'we need to approach imperialism from a European
more » ... tive'. 2 Her intervention was a direct response to suggestions from three other scholars: René Koekkoek, Anne-Isabelle Richard, and Arthur Weststeijn. 3 They had called for historicising current Dutch post-colonial culture by examining the longue durée histories of how the Dutch learned to view themselves as a nation in a world of empires. This debate is indicative of a larger international historiographical trend. As in the Netherlands, many historians across Europe and the wider world have embarked on a mission to 'decolonise' their national historical narratives in recent years. This has led to a flourishing new genre of 'national imperial histories', providing fresh insights into not only how countries like Great Britain, France and the Netherlands were shaped by their imperial histories, but also how countries with short-lived empires like Germany, Italy and Belgium, and even countries without colonies, such as Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, turn out to have been shaped heavily by their formal and informal imperial pasts. 4 Of course there is nothing inherently wrong with This special issue was generously supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the
doi:10.3929/ethz-b-000367500 fatcat:iluvzxwrabbgtkmlzqgj6v3ww4