How does torture become normal? Indonesia's New Order regime, 1965-1998

January 2017December 2020
ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

This project aims to find out how torture became normal under the New Order military regime in Indonesia (1965-1998). By mapping the experiences of thousands of men, women and children, the research will investigate when, how and in which contexts torture was perpetrated throughout the history of the New Order regime. By combining select statistical methods with textual analysis, the project will map the historical spread and evolution of torture.

The results of this study will uncover how serious violence becomes entrenched within security forces, how specific forms of torture evolve over time, and reveal the relationship between spectacular and interrogative forms of this violence. This Indonesia-based study will help us to understand how torture practices develop within security institutions, such as the military and police. By mapping how torture spreads and evolves over time, this may lead to the development of effective strategies to prevent torture, in Indonesia and in other parts of the world.

Project members

Dr Annie Pohlman

Indonesian Discipline Coordinator
Senior Lecturer
School of Languages and Cultures