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The Dutch in South Asia: Cooperation or Conflict?


Admission requirements

BSA norm en beide propedeuse Themacolleges behaald.


In the seventeenth century, the VOC made forays into the South Asian commercial world and remained a contender to reckon with until the late eighteenth century. The two century ‘staying power’ of the VOC in the region was determined by its interaction with South Asian merchants, markets, polities and people. The course explores the history of trade and diplomatic and cultural exchanges between the VOC and South Asia in the early modern period. It aims at familiarizing students with the various ways in which the VOC entered into and became a part of the South Asian world. It assesses the nature of interaction between the Dutch East India Company and this region with particular emphasis on the debate among scholars on how this age is to be characterized.

Course objectives

  • To acquire knowledge of the history of the Dutch East India Company in South Asia.

  • To gain insight into the debates on Dutch-South Asian relations in the period.

  • Conduct independent research and evaluate the character of this interaction for themselves based on relevant secondary literature.


See here

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Oral presentation (40%)

  • Essay (60%)



Reading list

George D. Winius and Marcus P.M. Vink, The Merchant-Warrior Pacified : the VOC (the Dutch East India Company) and its Changing Political Economy in India (Delhi etc, 1991).


See enrolment procedure for international students,
Or aanmeldingsprocedure for Dutch students.


E-mail: M.K. Jha
Mw. M. Kuruppath, MA
L.P.J. Bes, MA