See Chairs

Policy studies & environmental policy


The research of the group concentrates on governance issues for a wide range of topics related to sustainable development. A first research theme is “sustainable energy transition”. The group provides the social science component of the related UT Route 14 theme and focuses on biobased economy and smart energy systems. A large new FP7 project COMPLEX studies modeling issues in climate mitigation. The extensive work on “water governance” studies the qualities of the governance context in various Dutch, European and global cases of water management and developed its Contextual Interaction Theory into a methodology of analysis. Within the Topsector Water business case Building with Nature also the governance studies are contributed. The group manages the IGS supported Twente Water Centre, representing the whole of the UT water research. The same holds for the global research network “Greening of Industry”. Continuous attention is paid to “bottom up sustainability initiatives”, that can relate to energy and water, but also often have a broader sustainability outlook including economic and social viability.

Two key publications:

  • Hoppe, T., J.Th. A. Bressers, and K.R.D. Lulofs. (2011). Local government influence on energy conservation ambitions in existing housing sites - plucking the low-hanging Fruit. Energy Policy, Vol. 39, pp. 916-925.
  • Hans Bressers and Cheryl de Boer (2013), Contextual Interaction Theory for Assessing Water Governance, Policy and Knowledge Transfer, in: Cheryl De Boer, Joanne Vinke-de Kruijf, Gül Özerol, Hans Th. A. Bressers (Eds.) (2013) Water Governance, Policy and Knowledge Transfer: International Studies on Contextual Water Management. Oxford UK, New York USA: Earthscan – Routledge, pp. 36-54