Governance structures and processes

Our research


Tackling increasingly complex societal issues increases the need to achieve and study public governance. Mapping, understanding, explaining and improving how these multi-actor and multi-level relations and interactions take shape and how they evolve, exploring the governance mechanisms used in terms of instruments, structures and processes, reflecting and advising on the roles and positions of different actors and stakeholders, is therefore crucial to deal with contemporary challenges like biodiversity, poverty, security, sustainable economic development, … We need to capture the nature of the relationships, the systems that are built up, the management of the relationships and the steering capacity that these emanate in relation to concrete policies that are developed and implemented.


The range of methodologies used not only spans the qualitative-quantitative continuum, but also combines more established as well as more recent methodologies. Methods used and combined range from traditional case research to more contemporary qualitative strategies like QCA or Q-methodology, from vignette studies, over surveys to experimental designs.     


In this research line, we take a multi-actor, multi-level and multi-sector perspective. In terms of being multi-level, our research ranges from a focus on local governance challenges (e.g. local health care networks) to regional and national (e.g. securing international ports) and EU- and international governance (e.g. examining the EU-governance strategy to achieve the Green Deal). In terms of multi-sector, research of this group deals with governance challenges within as well as across policy sectors, ranging from health care, climate to economy and security.