Class of 2023

It is with great pleasure that we present the Class of 2023. Every year around 20 PhD-candidates from universities in the Netherlands and Belgium start with our PhD training program. Below the first PhD Candidates of the Class of 2023 introduce their PhD projects to you, throughout this year, more PhD candidates that join our training program will be featured on this page.

Lea Becher

Erasmus University Rotterdam

My name is Lea and I am a PhD candidate at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. My research is part of the “post-pandemic economic governance amidst politicisation (PEGAP)” project. I will evaluate the compliance of member states with EU reform recommendations, focusing on Germany and the Netherlands. For each country one fiscal and one socio-economic policy will be analysed using qualitative methods.

Archer Buissink

Utrecht University

I am a PhD candidate at the Utrecht University School of Governance researching regulatory practices for digital labour platforms such as Thuisbezorgd. I am a Dutch-New Zealander and previously studied Sociology, Employment Relations, and European languages in New Zealand. I am enjoying combining my previous areas of study with a new focus on (Dutch) public administration and I look forward to developing in this emerging area of technological and labour administration. I hope that my PhD research will be able to better inform policy makers, regulators, and social partners of regulatory options in this important area of contemporary political economy.

Dore Engbersen

Wageningen University

I am a PhD candidate at the Public Administration and Policy group of Wageningen University. My research is part of the MANTRA project that aims to create climate adaptation measures for healthy rural areas of The Netherlands. Specifically, I focus on the role of the design of participatory governance arrangements in stimulating transformative climate adaptation. Success factors of participatory design will be identified through a combination of qualitative, quantitative, and quasi-experimental methods. These factors will be applied, tested, and evaluated in three rural labs to establish a theoretical framework for participatory governance arrangements that aim to create transformative change.

Manon Koopman

Erasmus University Rotterdam

I am a PhD candidate working at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. My research focuses on the integrity of local government, with specific attention to three areas of study. The main topics include; the role of interaction and moral decision making within the municipal executive board, the role of (interactions with) civil servants and the role of integritism in aldermen’s moral decision-making processes.

Chiara Russo

University of Antwerp

My name is Chiara and I am a PhD researcher at the University of Antwerp. My PhD is embedded within the ROBUST project, on Crisis Governance in Turbulent Times. Funded by Horizon Europe, this project aims at operationalizing robust crisis governance, shifting the paradigm from "resilience" to "robustness". In particular, I will focus on societal intelligence, one of the independent variables identified. Starting from the Covid-19 case, I will investigate what constitutes empowering knowledge, how the latter is negotiated in interfaces between experts, citizens, and policy makers, and information processing strategies at the national level. Other important keywords in my research are uncertainty, cognitive authority, and post-normal science.

Stefano Scibilia

Erasmus University Rotterdam

In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU has launched the NextGenerationEU program, investing more than 800 billion Euros in digital transformation, public health, and green economy. Member countries can access these funds given their compliance to the set of reforms contained within the European Semester, the EU annual cycle of fiscal and socio-economic governance. My research focuses on Italy and Spain, the two largest recipients of the program. Considering the NextGenerationEU as treatment, I intend to evaluate if this new incentive regime will push Italy and Spain towards enacting EU backed reforms with a higher degree of success than in the past.