top of page

Representation of political conflicts in history textbooks


Djono, Hermanu Joebagio, & Nur Fatah Abidin


This research scrutinizes the representation of political conflict within contemporary Indonesian history textbooks. The research question is about how the contemporary history textbooks present political conflicts in Indonesian historiography for the younger generation within the frame of political interests, nation-building, and the demand of conflict reconciliation and transformation. Discourse Historical Analysis was used as the research method, particularly in investigating conflict representation from the analysis of nomination, predication, argumentation, perspectivation, and intensification. The object is Indonesian History textbook used in schools. Data analysis techniques are carried out with discourse historical analysis techniques through analysis of nominations, predicates, arguments, and perspectives. The findings show that historical conflicts in the textbooks are represented in two forms of historical narrative logic. The first is a simple plot and heroism narrative logic to present the conflicts in Indonesia from 1945 to 1965. The second is a cooperative-constructive narrative logic that emphasizes the conflict reconciliation rather than the conflictual process in presenting the conflicts in Indonesia from 1965 to 1998. Those logics consist of the binary system and schizophrenic feeling that shows the confusion of the historians in narrating conflict within the history textbook. Therefore, the chance to take advantage of the textbook in supporting conflict transformation in Indonesia can be hard to achieve. The historian has to find an alternative approach to solve the problem of conflict representation within the Indonesian history textbook. This alternative approach is carried out as an effort to support the transformation of conflict in Indonesian society.


Conflict Representation, Indonesian History, Textbooks, Nation Building

Download Article

Date Published

5 August 2023

How to Cite

Djono, Joebagio, H., & Abidin, N. F. (2023). Representation of political conflicts in history textbooks. Historical Encounters, 10(1), 100-113.


  • First Article in Issue Published 6 March 2023

  • Double Blind Peer Reviewed

  • Author Retains Copyright

  • Distributed under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0​ License

bottom of page