Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

Foreign investment and colonial society in Indonesia

The aim of this PhD dissertation project is to study the effect of private foreign investment outside the realm of economics in the context of a colonial structure in Indonesia between c. 1910 and c. 1960.

2014 - 2018

The underlying assumption in this study is that the presence of privately owned foreign enterprises in the colonial environment had profound repercussions for development in the surrounding society. The chief concern is with the indigenous population groups in Indonesia. The main emphasis is on Dutch-owned private firms, although comparisons will be made with experiences of British companies. Three specific questions are addressed:

  1. Which contribution did private, foreign firms make to the construction and maintenance of infrastructure in late-colonial and newly independent Indonesian society?
  2. To what extent did initiatives by private, foreign firms foster the development of entrepeneurship and skills among the indigenous population?
  3. What was the role of private, foreign companies in shaping the institutional heritage that Dutch colonialism left behind in Indonesia?
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