Robert Cribb is a historian of modern Indonesia, with wider interests in other parts of Asia. He completed his BA at the University of Queensland and his PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He has held positions at Griffith University, the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Study, the University of Queensland and the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. His research focusses on national identity, mass violence, environmental politics and historical geography. His latest book, Japanese War Criminals: The Politics of Justice After the Second World War [with Sandra Wilson, Beatrice Trefalt, and Dean Aszkielowicz] will appear in 2017 with Columbia University Press.
Robert Cribb’s research focuses on explaining the clash of noble ideals and intense violence has marked modern Indonesian history. In particular, his research aims to explain the mass violence of 1965-66. The question has taken his research in several directions. His principal current project (with Sandra Wilson) is to seek an explanation of Japanese military violence in Indonesia and elsewhere during the Second World War. He is also engaged with Li Narangoa in a study of puppet states.
Nearly 6000 Japanese military personnel were tried for war crimes at the end of the Second World War.
Early on the morning of 1 October 1965, seven detachments of troops drove through the quiet streets of Jakarta, bound for the homes of the most senior generals of the Indonesian army.