Richard Chauvel has research interests in Indonesian history and politics, Australia-Indonesia relations and Australian foreign policy. His research has focused on issues of national unity, centre – region relations and decentralisation as well as political and social change in eastern Indonesia, most particularly in Maluku and Papua.
His book, Nationalists, Soldiers and Separatists: The Ambonese Islands from Colonialism to Revolt
, remains the standard work on the revolt of Republic of the South Moluccas. His publications on West Papua include two policy papers for the East West Center Washington’s project on “The Dynamics and Management of Internal Conflict in Asia”. He was a consultant for the International Crisis Group in Papua and his report was published as Indonesia: Ending Repression in Irian Jaya 20 September 2001, ICG Asia Report No 23, Jakarta/Brussels. His recent publications include: “Grandstanding on Papua: Where people to people engagement is not encouraged”, in Antje Missbach and Jemma Purdey (ed), Linking People: Connections and encounters between Australians and Indonesians
Dr Chauvel has been an academic consultant for a three radio series for Radio Australia / Radio National, including Federasi Australia, Otonomi Indonesia and Sharing Power: The Ties that Bind. He has been a member of the Joint Selection Team for Australian Development Scholarships / Australia Awards in Indonesia in 2007-2013, 2016.
Prior to joining the Asia Institute, he was Head of the Department of Asian and International Studies and Associate Professor and Director the Australia Asia Pacific Institute at Victoria University. Prior to joining Victoria University, he taught at the University of Indonesia, 1987-1992. In Jakarta, he taught in the departments of politics and history and helped establish the Centre for Australian Studies at the University of Indonesia.
Dr Chauvel has supervised research students at the University of Indonesia, Victoria University and the University of Melbourne. He has been the principal supervisor for 14 PhD completions, 4 Masters by research and 7 Masters minor theses. His supervision students’ research has focused on social, cultural, religious and political change in Indonesia as well as decentralisation. The students have examined such issues as the development of vocational education under regional autonomy, whether decentralisation has improved health and education service delivery and whether the policies of regional governments in resource-rich East Kalimantan have served to reduce the high levels of poverty. Five students studied aspects of political and cultural change in Islamic boarding schools (pesantren), changing gender values and sharia-influenced district government regulations (perda syariah) and Islamic microfinance. His current supervision students are researching state formation, land rights and adat in Central Kalimantan; Jokowi’s leadership and political legitimacy in Solo and identity formation in eastern Indonesia during the Revolution.