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Geoffrey Robinson


Contact Information

Office  5361 Bunche Hall
Phone  310-825-3563

Professor Robinson writes and teaches about the history of political violence, genocide, human rights, and mass incarceration, primarily in Southeast Asia. He is the author of several books and dozens of scholarly articles. His major works include: The Dark Side of Paradise: Political Violence in Bali (Cornell, 1995); East Timor 1999: Crimes against Humanity (Elsham & Hak, 2006); “If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die”: How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor (Princeton, 2010); and most recently, The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66 (Princeton, 2018).  A Canadian, he earned his BA at McGill University and his PhD at Cornell, where he was a student of Benedict Anderson and George Kahin. Before coming to UCLA in 1997, Robinson worked for six years at Amnesty International’s Research Department in London, and in 1999 he served as a Political Affairs Officer with the United Nations in Dili, East Timor. His current projects include a co-edited volume of photographs and images related to the mass violence of 1965-66 in Indonesia; a study of the “Swedish Connection” to that violence; and a book on the history of mass killing in the United States, entitled Running Amok in America.


Ph.D. Cornell University, 1992

Selected Publications

Books & Monographs

The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66 (Princeton, 2018)

'If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die': How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009.

East Timor 1999: Crimes Against Humanity. Report commissioned by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Jakarta & Dili: HAK Association & Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy, 2006.

Timor Timur 1999: Kejahatan Terhadap Umat Manusia. Sebuak laporan yang dibuat berdasarkan permintaan Kantor Komisaris Tinggi Hak Asasi Manusia Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa. Jakarta & Dili: Perkumpulan HAK & Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Masyarakat (ELSAM), 2006.

Kudeta Angkatan Darat: Peran Amerika Membangun Rejim Suharto [The Army Coup: America’s Role in Creating the Suharto Regime]. Jakarta: Teplok Press, 2000.

The Dark Side of Paradise: Political Violence in Bali. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995.

Indonesia and East Timor: Power and Impunity - Human Rights Under the New Order. London: Amnesty International, 1994.

Philippines: The Killing Goes On. London: Amnesty International,1992.

Selected Articles & Reports

“People Power: A Comparative History of Forced Displacement in East Timor,” in Eva Lotta Hedman, ed. Conflict, Violence and Displacement in Indonesia: Dynamics, Patterns, and Experience. Ithaca: Cornell Southeast Asia Program Publications, 2008, pp. 87-118.

“Colonial Militias in East Timor,” in Karl Hack and Rettig Tobias, eds. Colonial Armies in Southeast Asia: The Armed Leviathan. London: Routledge, 2006, pp. 269-301.

“If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die,” in Mills and Brunner, eds. The New Killing Fields: Massacre and the Politics of Intervention. New York: Perseus Books, 2002, pp. 159-184.

“The Fruitless Search for a Smoking Gun: Tracing the Origins of Violence in East Timor,” in Freek Colombijn and Thomas Lindblad, eds. Roots of Violence in Indonesia: Contemporary Violence in Historical Perspective. Leiden: KITLV Press, 2002, pp. 243-276.

“People’s War: Militias in East Timor and Indonesia.” South East Asia Research, School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. 9, No. 3 (November 2001), pp. 271-318

“Rawan is as Rawan Does: The Origins of Disorder in New Order Aceh.” In Benedict Anderson, ed. Violence and the State in Suharto’s Indonesia. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Southeast Asia Program Publications, 2001, pp. 213-242.

Indonesia– On a New Course?” In Muthiah Alagappa, ed. Coercion and Governance: The
Declining Political Role of the Military in Asia. Stanford University Press,
2001, pp.226-256.

“Violence in an Era of Reform.” Indonesia, 70 (October 2000).

“With UNAMET in East Timor – An Historian’s Personal View.” Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, Special Issue on East Timor, February, 2000.

“Learning the Art of Dying: The Origins and Limits of Non-Violence in Burma and East Timor.” In Katrin Goldstein Kyaga, ed. Non-Violence in Asia. Stockholm: Center for Pacific Asia Studies, 1999.

"Human Rights in Southeast Asia: Rhetoric and Reality." In David Wurfel and Bruce Burton, eds. Southeast Asia in the New World Order. London: St. Martin's Press, 1996.

"The Post-Coup Massacre in Bali." In Daniel S. Lev and Ruth McVey, eds., Making Indonesia: Essays on Modern Indonesia. Ithaca: Cornell Southeast Asia Program, 1996.

“Shock Therapy: Restoring Order in Aceh, 1989-1993.” London: Amnesty International, 1993.

"Philippines: ‘Disappearances’ in the Context of Counterinsurgency." London: Amnesty International, 1991.