See Annual Work Conference 2017

VB-Debate: Beyond rigour - increasing the public relevance of political science and public administration

‘Beyond rigour: increasing the public relevance of political science and public administration’

- An interactive debate and presentation new book “Toekomst van de bestuurskunde”-

How do public administration scholars and political scientists relate to the public domain?

In which ways do public administration scholars and political scientists seek to make their researches relevant for the improvement of political and administrative practices?

Which critical reflections on political and administrative practices do public administration scholars and political scientists develop?

Which choices do public administration scholars and political scientists make in making their research relevant for improving the administrative and political quality of the public domain?

Where?               Crown Plaza Hotel, De Ruiterij 1, 6221 EW, Maastricht

When?                 Thursday 9 November 2017, from 10:30 to 12:00 hours; entry at 10:00 hours. (prior to the NIG conference)

Who?                    For everyone who is interested in public administration and political science

In 2004, Michael Burawoy made a call for what he called ‘public sociology’. He distinguished between four types of sociology, that is, professional, policy, critical and public sociology. The distinctive feature of public sociology is that it seeks to make sociology politically relevant for the radical democratization of the public domain. More recently, Mark Bovens has made a call for a public political science, noting that in the past two decades political scientists have increasingly focussed one-sidedly on professional rigour and academic publications. The public or democratic relevance of political science has thereby been increasingly limited. In line with David Beer’s ‘punk sociology’ (2014), Matthew Flinders argues that in today’s public domain, marked by managerialism and neoliberal hegemony, it is ‘punk science’ that is needed most – a type of science that radically challenges all conventional ways of comprehending and informing the public domain, ultimately to overcome the current status quo. The question is what Bovens’ call for a publically relevant public administration and political science and Flinders’ plea for punk science means for researchers, what are its practical implications for publishing and for valorizing research?  

The Verening voor Bestuurskunde organizes together with the Netherlands Institute of Government an interactive discussion on doing valorisation. Students, PhD students, researchers, professors and wider audience discuss the scientific calling and public relevance of public administration and political science. Panel members include: prof. Sandra van Thiel (Radboud University Nijmegen), dr. Tom Louwerse (Leiden University), prof. Willem Schinkel (Erasmus University of Rotterdam), dr. Sanneke Kuipers (Leiden University), and dr. Thomas Schillemans (Utrecht University).

The interactive debate starts with the launch of the new book Toekomst van de bestuurskunde (edited by Karré, Schillemans, Van der Steen, and Van der Wal).

The panel discussion is led by prof. Mark Bovens (Utrecht University)

For more information, please contact Wilma Bosmans-Kruize: or 06-53 292 587.

You can sign up below. We appreciate it if you register. There are no costs involved for this debate.