CRDM candidate, Rouli Manalu, successfully defended her dissertation titled, “The Politics of Infrastructure: The Heterogeneity of Actor-Networks and the Power Mechanisms in Governing Telecommunication Infrastructure in Indonesia.” Her dissertation committee was chaired by Dr. Steve Wiley, and joined by Dr. Jeremy Packer, Dr. Jason Swarts, and Dr. Nick Taylor.
Here’s a brief description of Rouli’s work by her chair Steve Wiley:
“Rouli’s research combines actor-network theory and a Foucauldian analysis of power and governmentality to examine the history and recent developments of Indonesian telecommunication infrastructure. She developed an innovative approach to ethnographic fieldwork that treated communication technologies as non-human actors in the network of Indonesian infrastructure development and policymaking.
Rather than focusing on technology “end users” and their communication practices, Rouli analyzes the policy discourse surrounding infrastructure development and the technical affordances of specific infrastructural elements such as telecommunication satellites, fibre-optic cable, mobile broadband spectrum, and rural telecenter technologies. In this way, her dissertation contributes to our understanding of communication infrastructure itself as already political, before it becomes the material framework supporting the communication practices of users.”