Navigating ideational dynamics: actor-policy interactions in implementation of Indonesia’s higher education reform

Crawford School of Public Policy

Event details

PhD Seminar

Date & time

Wednesday 01 May 2024


Crawford School Bldg 132 Seminar Room 8 and Online


Hali Aprimadya (speaker) Dr Annabel Dulhunty (Moderator)


Annabel Dulhunty

This thesis explores the diversity of actors’ ideas, beliefs, and traditions in influencing and shaping their implementation of public policies. Drawing on the experience of higher education reform in Indonesia between 1999 and 2019, this thesis illuminates the intricate nature of actor-policy interactions by asking: how do actors’ held beliefs and traditions shape their responses to ‘new’ ideas propagated by policies? And what do these interpretations and actions mean to policy implementation? This thesis uses an interpretive approach to explore academics’ interpretations of a series of regulatory changes intended to shape their actions.

This study demonstrates that the implementation of research-related policies in Indonesian higher education is a political endeavour shaped by the interactions between actors’ held beliefs and practices and policies’ ideas and objectives. Facilitated by their ‘situated’ agency, Indonesian academics’ interpretations and actions in response to research policies often constitute expressive acts that display a degree of discord with policy intents. This thesis contends that these incongruities depict improvisations driven by academics’ motivations to overcome institutional conflicts rather than mere acts of negligence. Through decentered analysis, the thesis illuminates how policy implementation is an art and craft shaped by the dynamics of actor-policy ideational interactions while providing methodological insights on the significance of combining actors’ intra-discursive and extra-discursive contexts in interpretive policy research. Finally, this thesis contributes to understanding the governance complexities of Indonesian higher education as one of the region’s most dynamic higher education sectors.
Biography Hali Aprimadya is a PhD candidate at the Crawford School of Public Policy and an analyst at Indonesia’s National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN). He holds a Bachelor of Human Sciences (Communication) from International Islamic University Malaysia and a Master of Public Policy in Policy Analysis from Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU. Drawing upon over a decade of experience within Indonesia’s public sector, Hali brings a wealth of practical insight to his doctoral research project. Before commencing his PhD, Hali was responsible for overseeing research collaboration initiatives with international partners, such as USAID, The Dutch Research Council (NWO), and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). As an aspiring scholar, Hali’s research interests are primarily on topics related to policy implementation, higher education and research governance, and interpretive research methods.

Supervisors Professor Helen Sullivan, ANU (Panel chair and primary supervisor) Professor Sharon Bessell, ANU Associate Professor Peter Woelert, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne.

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