The future of historical justice in Southeast Asia

Rachel Hughes1, Lia Kent2, Ken Setiawan3, Lisandro Claudio4

1 University of Melbourne
2 Visiting Fellow, Australian National University
3 Lecturer in Asian and Indonesian Studies, The University of Melbourne
4 Assistant Professor, University of California

From cases of colonial violence reaching back more than a century such as the Philippine American War or the Aceh War through to contemporary cases of state violence which took place in the larger context of the Cold War and the dominance of military regimes, people in the region of Southeast Asia continue to deal with the legacies of violence. In the last twenty years there have been extraordinary efforts from within these societies, particularly in Cambodia and East Timor, to demand and sometimes receive forms of historical justice such as legal redress or state recognition or apologies for cases of past violence. Yet there is also a sense that that many cases of violence have either been inadequately addressed or deliberately ignored by state authorities in the context also of fears about claims for justice for more recent cases of state violence. This panel brings together leading experts on the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia and East Timor to consider whether the process of achieving or implementing historical justice across the region is complete or considered complete and by whom and why or why not. What future might historical justice have in this region based on contemporary trends?


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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