Policy learning and policy networks in theory and practice: The role of policy brokers in the Indonesian biodiesel policy network

Michael Howlett*, Ishani Mukherjee, Joop Koppenjan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines how learning has been treated, generally, in policy network theories and what questions have been posed, and answered, about this phenomenon to date. We examine to what extent network characteristics and especially the presence of various types of brokers impede or facilitate policy learning. Next, a case study of the policy network surrounding the sustainability of palm oil biodiesel in Indonesia over the past two decades is presented using social network analysis. This case study focuses on sustainability-oriented policy learning in the Indonesian biodiesel governance network and illustrates how network features and especially forms of brokerage influence learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-250
Number of pages18
JournalPolicy and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Ministry of energy and Mineral Resources State Ministry of Research and technology Ministry of Forestry (dePHUt) Ministry of agriculture (dePtan) Ministry of trade (dePdaG) State Ministry of environment (MenlH) national Biofuel development team (timnasBBn) indonesian Palm oil commission (iPoc) World Bank Group(iBRd-ida, iFc, MiGa) asian development Bank (adB) Ford Foundation indonesian Palm oil Producers association (GaPKi) association of indonesian Biofuel Producers (aPRoBi) Roundtable for Sustainable Palm oil (RSPo) Pt eterindo group Pt indo Biofuels energy Pt Wilmar Pt Sumi asih Pt Musim Mas Sinar Mas Salim/indofood indonesian institute of Sciences (liPi) Bogor agricultural University (iPB) cGiaR (including ciFoR and icRaF) indonesian Bioenergy experts Partnership Renewable energy Forum of indonesia Wahana lingkungan Hidup indonesia Sawitwatch World Wildlife Fund (WWF) conservation international (ci) non-timber Forest Products/SetaRa University of Papua – tanjung Pura indonesian Palm oil Research institute (PPKS/ioPRi) institute of technology Bandung (itB) Gaikindo (automobile association) Pt Mutuagung lestari (certification) Pertamina (Persero) Pt Bayer linKS Pt Sai Global Pt tUV nord Pt Sucofindo aPKaSindo (Palm oil Smallholder association) GPPi (association of plantations) indonesian Palm oil Society Ministry of transport national development Planning agency

Funding Information:
Ishani Mukherjee would like to thank the World Future Foundation (WFF) for awarding the 2014 Phd Prize for her thesis titled Prioritizing Sustainability: Coalitions, Learning and Change Surrounding Biodiesel Policy Instruments in Indonesia, which has formed the basis of the case presented in this paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).


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