a1 University of Yogyakarta
Dealing with peasant rebellions as a universal historical phenomenon, it is quite appropriate to raise the problem whether despite great differences in cultural settings those phenomena still show common characteristics. A multitude of peasant studies in general, and on peasant movements in particular, will facilitate our comparative study on the same subjects in India and Indonesia.1 The very nature of such phenomena lends itself very well to a comparative investigation. Guided by some general findings of previous studies we will be able to sort out general characteristics of peasant rebellion in both countries. Our comparative study immediately calls for an analytical framework, referring to concepts such as: (1) theologies, religious beliefs and ideologies; (2) leadership and the kind of authority it possesses; (3) the mobilization system including the kind of leader-follower relationship; (4) the structure of organization; (5) the rationale behind the action. This cluster of conceptual tools will assist in unravelling the complex currents of historical events, and also ‘in looking beyond the trees at the wood’. Without disregarding the unique character of every single case, for our purpose we have to concern ourselves with the general features. It would not be superfluous to say that doing comparative history methodologically implies an analytical approach.