Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Nancy Neiman Auberach

Reader 2

Phillip Streich

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© 2014 Amanda Walujono


Since the established literature is mostly political, economic, and social histories of modern Indonesia, my thesis will establish motivations behind the context of the discrimination of the ethnic Chinese in Indonesia with particular attention on how it affects the perception of ethnic Chinese Indonesian’s nationality. Most of the times in the established literature, the history, motivations, and consequences behind the discrimination of the ethnic Chinese are briefly summarized or put in as an afterthought. Most of the present day established literature is focused on how the now-allowed Chinese imports are starting to influence Indonesian culture and how post-Suharto regimes have taken steps to at least tolerate the ethnic Chinese population. Since Indonesia is such a new nation, it is important to establish why a key player in its initial start up economy was targeted for racism for so long. My thesis will use the thread of Dutch colonialism and the impact of Western ideologies of democracy and nationalism to explain the reasons behind ethnic Chinese discrimination in Indonesia. Thus, my thesis question will ask what are the reasons behind the discrimination of the ethnic Chinese and how it affected perception of ethnic Chinese Indonesian nationality. Furthermore, my thesis question will address all the sub-questions that come ! 4 with it such as do the roots stem from Dutch colonization or does it go back further than that? How can the ethnic Chinese be discriminated against socially when most of them are in the upper economic strata of the country? Do the native Indonesians consider the ethnic Chinese Indonesian to be proper citizens of Indonesia? Do the ethnic Chinese consider themselves as citizens of Indonesia or China? And how did different ruling regimes affect the perceptions of Chinese Indonesian nationality?