Research & team

My research covers a range of public administration and public management topics, but in all of these, tensions between bureaucracy and democracy take a central role. Below are some recent projects.

Current PhD students

  • Ziya Aliyev – Institutionalisation process of corruption (State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan PhD grant)
  • Shelena Keulemans – Public officials’ trust in citizens & anti-client norms in public services (NWO-Vidi)
  • Nadine Raaphorst – Public officials’ trust in citizens & public encounters (NWO-Vidi)
  • Jean-Pierre Thomassen – Servicegaranties en patiënttevredenheid (external PhD candidate)
  • Eduard Schmidt- Explaining cutback management strategies in public sector organisations: change leadership in times of crisis (NWO Research Talent grant)
  • Maurits van Leeuwen  – Understanding service sabotage in the public sector (NWO Research Talent grant)
  • Anca Oprisor – Roles and identities of public sector executives
  • Koen Migchelbrink – Civil servants´ willingness to engage with citizens (H2020- Citadel)

Former team members

Coordinating for Cohesion in the Public Sector of the Future. The COCOPS project is funded under the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme as a Small or Medium-Scale Focused Research Project. In COCOPS, Public Administration Departments at 11 universities in 10 countries collaborate. The project will started on Jan 1st 2011 and will run for 3,5 years. With a budget of nearly 2,7 million €, this is one of the largest comparative public management research projects in Europe.

Public officials’ trust in citizens. The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded me a 800,000 EUR personal VIDI grant to study public officials’ trust in citizens in three countries. Vacancies for 2 PhD students and 1 postdoc will be posted here around October. VIDI is part of NWO’s Innovational Research Incentives Scheme (Vernieuwingsimpuls). We will look at levels and determinants of officials’ trust in citizens, in three countries. The project will combine a multilevel design (officials in offices) with a panel study (socialisation effects). More information here

Explaining cutback management strategies in public sector organisations. Funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) Research talent Grant. This project will use a change management perspective to analyse public-private differences in cutback management. More information here

Public attitudes towards public services and public opinion towards the public sector. In this research we look at determinants of citizen attitudes towards the public sector, and at measurement issues. Special attention goes to attitudes towards (liberalised) services of general interest. Previous research includes attitudes towards local government, confidence in the justice system and satisfaction surveys in government.

Trust in government. We are looking at drivers of citizen trust in government, and at longitudinal trends in trust. This line of research is furthermore looking at differences across countries, and at measurement issues. Some specific areas of current research include differences between active trust and active distrust, and question order effects. Data and questionnaires from the Belgian trust project (‘Werken aan de Overheid’) are available here.

Trust in the police. A project funded by the Dutch programme ‘Politie en Wetenschap’. We analyse survey material on public trust in the police in the Netherlands.

Measuring and comparing public sector performance, with a focus on conceptual issues and behavioural responses. Specific research includes the use of governance indicators to assess the quality of public sectors, international comparisons of public performance, and the causes and effects of performance ranking schemes

Privacy in government data. An analysis of access to (National) Electronic Patient Records, through an international comparison of regulation, and an analysis of access practices and audit procedures at local level.

Social justice in the allocation of scarce public services. Building on the work of Jon Elster and others, we are looking at the mechanisms used to allocate scarce public services in real-life policy settings. Through a combination of vignettes and surveys (planned for late 2010), we are looking at the factors determining whether or not certain mechanisms are seen as  just in a specific service delivery context. The case is the allocation of child care places in the Rotterdam area.

Diversity and representative bureaucracy, and more specifically multilingualism in public services, with a focus on multilingual practices at street level.

Secondary interests include citizen charters, quality management, administrative history, administrative discretion and citizen participation.