Irian Barat: An Investigation of the Origins, History, Resolution, and Consequences of the West New Guinea Dispute

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international relations, foreign policy, West New Guinea, Irian Barat, Netherlands, East Indies


Asian History | Asian Studies | Diplomatic History | International and Area Studies | Political Science | South and Southeast Asian Languages and Societies


The summer of 1962 saw the solution of a problem which had vexed the relations of Indonesia and the Netherlands for over a decade. That problem was the dispute between the two nations over the status of West New Guinea, or West Irian. The dispute had arisen in 1949 at the Round Table Conference, at which the Netherlands had agreed to the formation of an independent Indonesia, to be created out of the former Netherlands East Indies. The Indonesians wished their territories to consist of the whole of the former Dutch possessions, whereas the Dutch would not agree to the transfer of sovereignty over West New Guinea. The purpose of this study is to discover the roots of the conflict; the study its effects on Indonesia, the Netherlands, and the relations of the two; and to tract its history.

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