The Department of Public Administration (PA)

The Department of Public Administration (PA) is responsible for research and education in the areas of Public Administration, European Studies and Public Management and Policy. It approaches these issues from a multilevel perspective with a focus of the relationship between sub-national, national, European and global levels of governance. PA is a multidisciplinary group of researchers, combining economic, legal, political and sociological perspectives in a strong methodological setting.

Research is mainly embedded in the multi-disciplinary research program Innovation of Governance of the Institute for Innovation and Governance Studies - IGS, which focuses mainly on changes in the relationships between citizens and their government at various levels (local, regional, EU and global) with specific attention for the emergence of multilevel governance, from the viewpoints of legitimacy and effectiveness.

Two central themes, Democracy and European Governance and Integration, are covered by two IGS Centres of Expertise: the Centre for the Study of Democracy and the Centre for European Studies.

The Department is composed of the following disciplinary groups:


Economic Governance


Law and Regulation


Political Science and Research Methods


Public Management


Sociology of Public Governance

Latest news

De vormgeving van sociale (wijk)teams

Veel gemeenten kiezen voor de inzet van sociale (wijk)teams als instrument voor de transformatie in het sociale domein. De teams worden gezien als de onmisbare schakel in de wijkgerichte aanpak.

De Universiteit Twente heeft samen met de gemeenten Zaanstad, Leeuwarden, Enschede, Platform31 en BMC Advies onderzoek gedaan naar de vormgeving van sociale (wijk)teams. De onderzoekers hebben gekeken naar de organisatie van de teams en naar de knelpunten die zich voordeden bij de (door)ontwikkeling van de teams. Tijdens het onderzoek is gezorgd voor een wisselwerking tussen theorie en praktijk. ... read more

Elsevier survey: Public Administration ranked 1

The master’s programme of Public Administration, offered by the University of Twente was ranked first in Elsevier’s student survey 2014.

Scores above average.
In the survey, all university programmes at Dutch universities were evaluated for their facilities, teaching, programme design, lecturers, assessments and organization & communication. This resulted in an overall score given by the students, which was 71 for our Public Administration programme.
We were ranked high on assessments, facilities and teachers but also ... read more

New book: Size And Local Democracy

New book by Bas Denters, Michael Goldsmith, Andreas Ladner, Poul Erik Mouritzen, and Lawrence E. Rose
How large should local governments be, and what are the implications of changing the scale of local governments for the quality of local democracy? These questions have stood at the centre of debates among scholars and public sector reformers alike from antiquity to the present. This monograph offers the first systematic cross-national investigation of these questions using empirical evidence gathered specifically for this purpose. Results provide insights that offer important touchstones for reform activities and academic research efforts in many countries. ... read more

New article by D. Lettinga and S. Saharso. Outsiders Within: Framing and Regulation of Headscarves in France, Germany and The Netherlands

While women in Europe who wear the Islamic headscarf are generally seen as outsiders who do not belong to the nation, some countries are more tolerant towards the wearing of headscarves than others. France, Germany and the Netherlands have developed different policies regarding veiling. In this paper we describe how headscarves became regulated in each of these countries and discuss the ways in which French, Dutch and German politicians have deliberated the issue. The paper is based on a content analysis of parliamentary debates on veiling in France (1989–2007), Germany (1997–2007) and the Netherlands (1985–2007). Our aim is to discuss what these national political debates reveal about the way in which the social inclusion of Islamic women in (or rather exclusion from) the nation is perceived in these three countries. Our claim is that veiling arouses opposition because it challenges national self-understandings. Yet, because nations have different histories of nation building, these self-understandings are challenged in various ways and hence, governments have responded to headscarves with diverse regulation. While we did find national differences, we also discovered that the political debates in the three countries are converging over time. The trend is towards increasingly gendered debates and more restrictive headscarf policies. This, we hypothesize, is explained by international polarization around Islam and the strength of the populist anti-immigrant parties across Europe. ... read more