This important study introduces the history and people of West Papua, tracing the origins of the international conflict surrounding their struggle for self-determination following the Second World War. Based on three decades of exhaustive research and focusing particular attention on the sham referendum of 1969 - which Indonesia dubbed 'The Act of Free Choice', an election rigged to legitimize Indonesian control over West Papua - Droogleever highlights the continuing impact of this injustice on Indonesia's most underdeveloped and poverty-stricken province.
Pieter Drooglever was the lead researcher on a government-sponsored, 27-year study of the decolonisation of Indonesia at the Institute of Netherlands History at The Hague. He also served as chairman of the historical committee for Indonesian Studies, and was a lecturer in Indonesian History at the University of Nymegen, where he held the L.J. Rogier chair.