Harinck, MA Christiaan

Christiaan Harinck is currently working at the KITLV as a PhD candidate affiliated with the project ‘Decolonisation, violence and war in Indonesia, 1945-1950’. Harinck studied history at the universities of Leiden and Amsterdam, where he specialized in military and European history.

His PhD research focuses on the development of Dutch tactical doctrine and practice during the war in Indonesia, especially in relation to the use of force,  raising questions on the army’s ability to adapt and learn, on the background and origins of tactical concepts, and on the relationship between doctrine, actual practice  and the excessive use of violence.

This study encompasses the military’s conception of the conduct of war, the extent to which it had the ability to adapt to the local conditions and turn experiences into practice and doctrine, and the contents and genealogies of its doctrinal and actual military methods, taking into account not only the colonial past (such as colonial attitudes and the VPTL anti-guerrilla field manual), but also the European background of a large part of the military and the formative recent experiences of the Second World War. With this research, Harinck hopes to provide a better understanding of the nature and dynamics of this war in particular, and modern anti-guerrilla operations before the rise of counterinsurgency theories from the late 1950s on.

Selected Publications

(With Bart Luttikhuis) ‘Voorbij het koloniale perspectief: Indonesische bronnen en het onderzoek naar de oorlog in Indonesië, 1945-1949’, Low Countries Historical Review 132-2 (2017): 51-76.

‘Beschoten en beschreven. De Indonesische tegenstander in de Nederlandse militaire verslaglegging, 1945-1949’,  Leidschrift 31-3 (2016): 19-38.