Geoffrey Robinson

Professor of History

Robinson earned his BA at McGill and his PhD at Cornell, where he was a student of Benedict Anderson and George Kahin. Before coming to UCLA, he 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 East Timor. 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). His current projects include a co-authored visual history of the mass violence of 1965-66 in Indonesia, and a study of the “Swedish Connection” to that violence.


Ph.D Cornell University, 1992

MA. University of British Columbia, 1982

BA. McGill University, 1978


Books & Monographs

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

Musim Menjagal: Sejarah Pembunuhan Massal di Indonesia, 1965-66. (Jakarta: Komunitas Bambu, 2018).

1965 Today: Living with the Indonesian Massacres, eds. Martijn Eickhoff, Gerry van Klinken and Geoffrey Robinson, Special Issue, Journal of Genocide Research, Vol 19, 3 (2017).

If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die’: How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor. (Princeton, 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

“Half a Century of Genocide and Extermination: Indonesia, 1965-66, East Timor, 1975-99, and West Papua, 1963-2020,” in Ben Kiernan, Wendy Lower, Norman Naimark, and Scott Straus, eds. The Cambridge World History of Genocide. Volume III, Genocide in the Contemporary Era, 1914-2020. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (forthcoming, 2020).

“A Time to Kill: The Anti-Communist Violence in Indonesia, 1965-66,” in Eve Zucker and Benjamin Kiernan, eds. Mass Violence in Southeast Asia Since 1945. New Haven: Yale University Southeast Asia Monograph Series (forthcoming, 2020).

“Fake News: Psy-war and Propaganda in the Indonesian Genocide of 1965-66.” The Historian, No. 142, Special Issue on Hidden Histories (Summer, 2019) pp. 18-23.

“Debate – The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66.” Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, Vol. 175 (2019), pp. 341-356.

“Derailing Justice: The Logic of Serial Human Rights Investigations in East Timor.” In Jens Meierhenrich, ed. Intervention by Other Means: The Law and Practices of International Commissions of Inquiry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, (forthcoming, 2019).

“‘Down to the Very Roots’ – The Indonesian Army’s Role in the Mass Killings of 1965-66.” In 1965 Today: Living with the Indonesian Massacres, eds. Martijn Eickhoff, Gerry van Klinken and Geoffrey Robinson, eds. Special Issue, Journal of Genocide Research, Vol 19, 3 (2017).

“Introduction,” 1965 Today: Living with the Indonesian Massacres, eds. Martijn Eickhoff, Gerry van Klinken and Geoffrey Robinson, eds. Special Issue, Journal of Genocide Research, Vol 19, 3 (2017).

“East Timor: Legacies of Violence.” In David Webster, ed., Flowers in the Wall: Truth & Reconciliation in Timor-Leste, Indonesia and Melanesia, Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2017.

Review of Anja Jetschke. Human Rights and State Security: Indonesia and the Philippines. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. In South East Asia Research, 23, 3 (Fall 2015).

“Break the Rules, Save the Records: Human Rights Archives and the Search for Justice in East Timor.” Archival Science, Special Issue, The Antonym of Forgetting, Vol. 14, No. 2 (August 2014) pp. 323-343. 

“Human Rights History from the Ground Up: The Case of East Timor.” In Steve J. Stern and Scott Straus, eds. The Human Rights Paradox: Universality and Its Discontents. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2014, pp. 31-60.

“East Timor Ten Years On: Legacies of Violence.” Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 70, No.4 (November 2011), pp. 1-15.

“East Timor: Legacies of Occupation and Violence.” Canadian Council on Southeast Asian Studies’ Newsletter, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Fall 2010), pp. 11-14.

 “Mass Violence in Southeast Asia.” In Itty Abraham, Meredith Weiss, and Edward Newman, eds. Political Violence in South and Southeast Asia. Tokyo and New York: United Nations University Press & International Peace Academy, 2010, pp. 69-90.

 “State-Sponsored Violence and Secessionist Rebellions in Asia.” In Donald Bloxham and A. Dirk Moses eds. The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 466-88.

“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.