Henk Schulte Nordholt


Professor Henk Schulte Nordholt (1953) has coordinated the KITLV research programme ‘Renegotiating boundaries: access agency and identity in post-Soeharto Indonesia’. He is head of the research department of KITLV.

Schulte Nordholt studied history at the VU University in Amsterdam, from which he graduated in 1980 (cum laude). In 1988 he obtained his PhD degree (cum laude) in social sciences at the Free University with a thesis on the history of the political system on the island of Bali (Indonesia). He taught anthropology and Asian history at the University of Amsterdam from 1985 until 2005. From 1999 until 2007 he was IIAS professor of Asian History at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Since 2007 he is KITLV professor of Southeast Asian Studies at the VU University in Amsterdam.

Schulte Nordholt’s main fields of research include Balinese history, political violence, the anthropology of colonialism, and contemporary politics in Indonesia.Currently he coordinates a large Dutch Indonesian research program “Governance, markets and citizens” 2013-2016, which is sponsored by the Scientific Program Indonesia – Netherlands (SPIN)

Schulte Nordholt has published 70 articles and 20 books and is a regular guest on Dutch television and radio programmes about the Indonesian political situation.

2010-2013: Coordinator NWO sponsored research programme ‘Articulating Modernity: Popular Music in Southeast Asia.’
2007-2010: Director of KNAW sponsored research programme ‘In Search of Middle Indonesia.’
2001- 2004: Coordinator Indonesian Dutch research programme, ‘Indonesia in transition’ which was sponsored by the KNAW/Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Recording the Future


A full list of KITLV publications and their authors can be obtained from our archive of annual reports.

Selected Publications

A substantial number of these publications are available as PDF-files on

‘Dams and Dynasty, and the Colonial Transformation of Balinese Irrigation Management’. Human Ecology 39:21-28, 2011.
PDF-document: Dams_and_Dynasty.pdf

(With Andreas Weber), 'I am an Indonesian of Chinese origin and I am neither better nor worse than any other average Indonesian', An interview with Thee Kian Wie (b. 1935), Itinerario 34: 9-34, 2010.

Indonesie na Soeharto. Reformasi en Resutauratie. Amsterdam: Bert Bakker 2008.

‘Onafhankelijkheid of moderniteit?’, in: M. Bloembergen en R. Raben (red.), Het Koloniale Beschavingsoffensief. Wegen naar het nieuwe Indië, 105-120. Leiden: KITLV Press, 2009.

‘Identity politics, citizenship and the soft state in Indonesia: and essay’, Journal of Indonesian Social Sciences and Humanities 1: 1-22, 2008.

Bali, an Open Fortress, 1995–2005. Regional autonomy, electoral democracy and entrenched identities. Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2007.

(With G. van Klinken eds), Renegotiating Boundaries. Local politics in post-Suharto Indonesia. Leiden: KITLV Press, 2007.

(With Fridus Steijlen), '‘Don’t forget to remember me.’ An audio visual archive of everyday life in Indonesia in the 121st century’, Working Paper Indonesian Studies Series, University of Sydney, 2007.

Indonesian Transitions, (ed.). Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar, 2006.

(With Helen Creese and Darma Putra eds), Seabad Puputan Badung. Perspektif Belanda dan Bali. Jakarta: KITLV/ Denpasar: Fakultas Sastra Universitas Udayana, 2006.

(With P. Kratoska and R. Raben eds), Locating Southeast Asia. Geographies of knowledge and the politics of space. Singapore: Singapore University Press, 2005.

(With Marieke Brand and Fridus Steijlen red.), Indie Verteld. Herinneringen, 1930-1950, with 2 cd roms. Leiden: KITLV Press/ Zutphen: Walburg Pers, 2005.

(With Hanneman Samuel eds), Indonesia in Transition. Rethinking ‘Civil soceity’, ‘Region’ and ‘Crisis’. Yogyakatya: Pustaka Pelajar, 2004.

‘Decentralisation in Indonesia: Less state, more democracy?’, in: J. Harriss, K. Stokke and O. Tornquist (eds), Politicising Democracy. The new local politics of democratisation, 29-50. Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2004.

‘Decolonising Indonesian Historiography’, Working Paper in Contemporary Asian Studies, 20 pp. Centre for East and SE Asian Studies, Lund University 2004.

(With Gusti Asnan eds), Indonesia in Transition. Work in Progress. Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar, 2003.

‘Renegotiating boundaries. Access, agency and identity in post-Suharto Indonesia’, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (BKI) 159: 550-589, 2003.

Kriminalitas, Identitas dan Modernitas dalam Sejarah Indonesia. Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar, 2002.

(With Irwan Abdullah eds), Indonesia: In search of transition. Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar, 2002.

‘A genealogy of violence’, in: F. Colombijn and Th. Lindblad (eds), Roots of violence in Indonesia, 33-61. Leiden: KITLV Press, 2002.

(With W. van Schendel eds), Time matters. Global and local time in Asian histories. Amsterdam: VU University Press, 2001.

‘Localising modernity in colonial Bali during the 1930s’, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 31: 101-114, 2000.

Het dagelijks leven in Indië. Brieven van O. Schulte Nordholt-Zielhuis 1937 - 1947. Zutphen: Walburg Pers, 1999.

(With M. van Till), ‘Colonial criminals in Java 1870-1910’, in: V. Rafael (ed), Figures of criminality in Indonesia, the Philippines and colonial Vietnam, pp.47-69. Ithaca: Cornell Southeast Asia Program, 1999.

‘The making of traditional Bali. Colonial ethnography and bureaucratic reproduction’, in: P. Pels en O. Salemink (eds), Colonial subjects. Essays in the practical history of anthropology, pp.241-281. Michigan: University of Michigan Press,1999.

Outward appearances. Dressing state and society in Indonesia (ed.). Leiden: KITLV Press, 1997.