Een paar bedenkingen. Discussie over Een daad van vrije keuze


  • P.J. Drooglever



Foreign relations


Some considerations
In ‘Some Considerations’ Pieter Drooglever deals with the motives that led the Institute for Netherlands History and the author himself to respond  positively to a  request made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2000 for a study into the events that led up to the Act of Free Choice in West New Guinea. It does so against the background of developments in Indonesia at the time and explains why the act of writing such an analytical work fitted into the research programme of the Institute. He mentions the vacillations in relations with the Ministry as a result of shifting policies in Indonesia and the Netherlands, but stresses the fact that these did not interfere in any way with the freedom in which the research was carried out or the published findings, in compliance with an agreement drawn up between both parties.


In the second part of the paper, he discusses the peculiarities of working in a politicised context. He emphasizes that this caused him to refrain from jumping to conclusions and to concentrate instead on trying to understand the various aspects of a multi-facetted history on their own merits. Yet, in the end, a stance had to be taken on various issues. Evidence of this can be found within the terms of the commission and in the results of the research. Notwithstanding its limitations, the historical method of analysing a broad spectrum of information from many different sources enables one to reach definitive conclusions that pave the way for further discussion. In the third part of his paper, the author responds to some of the main criticisms levelled by his opponents.


This response is part of the discussion forum 'Een daad van vrije keuze' (P.J. Drooglever).


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How to Cite

Drooglever, P. (2007). Een paar bedenkingen. Discussie over Een daad van vrije keuze. BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, 122(1), 91–104.