Innovation of Governance

The four-year structured PhD programme in Innovation of Governance is an internationally oriented programme. A PhD programme at the University of Twente can be started throughout the year. Read more about the related Master's programmes in Construction Management and Engineering, European Studies, Public Administration or Psychology if you have yet to start a Master of Science programme. 

The transition towards more efficient forms of (public) organization and the effectiveness and public acceptance of innovations in public governance are increasingly important for economic prosperity and for meeting the grand social challenges facing European societies. These issues have been identified as key research themes on the social sciences research agenda for the next decade and feature prominently in the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.

Programme overview

Prof. dr. Bas Denters
1 year - 2 years
4 years

The Innovation of Governance programme

The Innovation of Governance programme focusses on two main questions:

  1. How do the institutional structures and decision making processes of systems of public governance affect innovative capacity (i.e. potential for responding to social en technological change)?
  2. How do the innovations affect the extent to which systems of public governance are able to meet standards of effectiveness and efficiency on the one hand and address questions of legitimacy on the other, and how can be explain such effects?

In the programme, social and technological innovations are studied in research areas for which the University of Twente social sciences research groups have established a reputation of excellence:

  • Democratic Governance
  • Social Policy
  • Safety and Security Management
  • Construction Management & Engineering

Programme aim

The aim of the Innovation of Governance programme is to provide a better understanding of the logic of successful innovations in multi-actor, multilevel systems of public governance. Such an understanding requires a multidisciplinary perspective that is sensitive to the different dominant institutional settings – public hierarchies, economic markets, and social networks – in which the different actors (governments, corporations and third sector organisations) operate. In addition, for many important questions (e.g. regarding citizens’ acceptance of new methods, procedures and technologies or their perceptions of risks and threats), it is also necessary to move beyond an analysis at the level of collective actors and zoom in at the micro-level, where insight into the sociological and social-psychological processes underlying individual reactions is imperative.

Reflecting disciplinary traditions in part, the programme provides from a methodological perspective a mixture of both quantitative and qualitative research, although traditionally, the programme has a strong reputation for its comparative, survey-based quantitative research (e.g. in the context of the Dutch National Election Study and the European Social Survey).