Vigilantes and the State

in Social Analysis
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  • 1 University of Toronto j.barker@utoronto.ca
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Indonesia’s New Order was among the most repressive and violent states of the twentieth century. During Suharto’s period of rule (1966–1998), the state was directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of as many as a million or more of its own citizens and the incarceration of many more. While the worst of this violence occurred during the pogroms against communists in 1965–1966 and during the long occupation of East Timor, the whole New Order system of rule was constructed on what Benedict Anderson (2001a: 13) has described as a “vast machine of state violence.” This machine left behind a dangerous legacy that must be better understood if it is to be overcome in the years ahead (J. Bertrand 2002; Colombijn and Lindblad 2002).