dr. Minna van Gerven-Haanpaa

picture of Minna van Gerven
Assistant Professor of Sociology of Governance

Telephone: +31 53 489 3222 / 3280
Fax: +31 53 489 2159
Email: Minna van Gerven-Haanpaa
Ravelijn building
Room: 4208



Dr. Minna van Gerven is Assistant Professor of Sociology of Governance at the department of Public Administration (PA) within the Faculty of Behavioural, Management & Social Sciences (BMS) of the University of Twente, The Netherlands. Minna’s research activities are taken within the Institute for Innovation and Governance (IGS) and she primarily lectures in the European Public Administration (EPA) Bachelor and the Global and European Studies (ES) Master programmes.

Minna’s disciplinary background intersects with sociology, political science and public administration. The research questions she is interested in gravitate around European Social governance and comparative public policy reform. Minna holds a PH.D. in Social Sciences from the University of Tilburg (the Netherlands) on a thesis about changing principle of social security (See Phd dissertation The Broad Tracks of Path Dependent Benefit Reforms: A longitudinal study of social benefit reforms in three European countries, 1980- 2006’ in this link).

Before joining the University of Twente, Minna worked as Post-Doc Researcher at the University of Amsterdam and the Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS). At AIAS, she worked on international research projects such as European Tools for Social Policy in Belgium (ETOS.BE) and the NWO funded Governance as Learning (GaL) projects on analysing the role of policy-makers in changing (European) policies for activation of the unemployed and inactive.


Minna van Gerven’s expertise lies in research on European social policy and welfare state (change). In the past, she has investigated the welfare state change at various levels (local, national, cross-national and EU level) in Europe. Currently, she is on her way beyond Europe and studies social policies in (South) East Asia.

Besides her interest in comparative research on social policy (institutions), Minna van Gerven is interested in sociological, political science and public administration research. In particular, she is interested in themes related to public opinion, the role of political and corporatist actors and policy entrepreneurs in the institutional change processes, diffusion of policy innovations within (and Beyond) Europe, political economy of labour market adaptations & flexicurity, and local implementation of social policies.

For the list of my publication, please check my CV The most important publications can also be found from my ResearchGate site,



In 2015, The Dutch Royal Academy of Science (KNAW) granted a funding for a collaborative project with UT (Minna van Gerven and René Torenvlied) and the Chinese partners at Fudan University (Shanghai). The project will run 2016-2018 and it aims at designing and analysing survey data of the role of public-private social networks in the elderly care in the Netherlands and China.

Minna’s DoYoCar project funded by the Tech4People initiatieve at the UT shall start from August 2015. Here, we will analyse the use of old and new media by local governments in the political agenda-setting during the shift of Dutch Youth Care (DoYoCare) between 2012 and 2015. This post doc project will last 1 year.


Minna is a member of Advisory board of Brussels-based research centre European Social Observatory (OSE).

In the past, Minna van Gerven has worked in several international comparative research projects. For example, she has been involved in the European Social Survey (ESS) project that is an academically-driven social survey designed to chart and explain the interaction between Europa’s changing institutions and the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of its diverse population. Furthermore, she is involved in data improvement project of the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA Germany) and Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti (fRDB Italy), which set out to construct a comprehensive and systematic database on policy reforms (fRDB and IZA database) in core areas of the labor market and the welfare state such as active labour market policies, non-employment benefits, employment protection, pensions and migration policies. Since the creation of the Network for European Social Policy Analysis (ESPAnet), she has been actively involved in this academic network (while performing as the secretary of the network for the first three years of its existence).

Minna has published both nationally and internationally on topics concerning social security policy and –research, in journals as the Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of European Social Policy, European Societies, Acta Politica, European Journal of Social Security and in publishing houses such as Routlegde, Peter Lang, and the Amsterdam University Press. She has also been an external referee for the scientific journals such as Journal of European Social Policy and member of editorial board of European Policy Analysis journal.


Minna van Gerven currently teaches in several (EPA & GES) courses:

  • European Challenges (EPA module 2)
  • The EU in crisis? (EPA module 7A)
  • The Policy design and implementation beyond the Nation state (GES master)

Minna has regularly a bachelor circle crisis (for the academic year 2016-2017 under the title Making social Innovations work in elderly care in Europe and China)

Furthermore, she supervises (EPA/GES) master thesis projects of students on the following themes:

  • Global social policy (specialization of Asia (China), EU)
  • Creation and implementation of Social Europe (multi-level governance by EU institutions, MS, local government, civil society and social networks)
  • Institutional change and policy learning, diffusion and the spread of innovations
  • Public policy reform with particular interest to employment, migration, care, pension, e-governance fields.

Furthermore, she specializes in supervision of

  • Comparative case studies
  • Content analysis
  • Discourse analysis
  • Analysis of public opinion data (European Social Survey, World Value Survey)
  • Conducting and analysis of (semi-structured) interviews