‘Trying to fulfil our destiny’ | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 129, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



After the Netherlands lost control of New Guinea in 1962, it took less than five years for them to regain a prominent role in Indonesia. This new role had as its vehicle the Inter-Governmental Group on Indonesia (IGGI), an international aid consortium chaired by the Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation. Between 1963 and 1968 Dutch civil servants faced an impossible task: to establish a neo-colonial relationship without appearing to do so. How did they achieve this? The Dutch ambassador Emile Schiff was the key player throughout these turbulent times. It is in his correspondence that we find the answer to this question: colonial ideas couched in post-colonial rhetoric. Schiff strove to realize sustainable Dutch-Indonesian relations in order to facilitate trade, garner international prestige, and further the mission to civilize Indonesians.


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