On Tuesday 19 November at 18.00 hrs. Jorren Scherpenisse will defend his PhD thesis The discipline of time: On temporalising public governance.
Time is of crucial importance in the actions of professionals in the public sector. The timing, sequence, speed, duration, and time horizons of governance efforts play an important role in shaping their success and failure in public governance. However, in the scientific literature time is often treated more as a neutral background variable (time) than as an active and relevant factor of strategic practice: temporalising.
The aim of Scherpenisse's study is to explore and develop a viable conceptual approach to temporalising in public governance. He does so by conducting 10 ten cases of strategic governance challenges and processes in the Netherlands. The cases cover a range of policy domains, questions to be resolved and kinds of actors involved. In each case, the research emphasis is on how the perspective of temporalising can be useful as both an analytical tool for scholars and as a reflective practice for public professionals.
The insights of this study are brought together in a preliminary theoretical framework in which the five central themes of temporalising governance are distinguished: timing, tempo, time horizon, time patterns and simultaneity. Scherpenisse concludes that in practice, no forms of policy analysis or policy advice can escape the discipline of time. Accordingly, this dissertation can be interpreted both as call to arms to the field of public administration research and an attempt to nudge the reader to become more sensitized to and reflective about how public governance is and can be shaped by temporalising.
Drs. Jorren Scherpenisse is researcher and manager of education at the Netherlands School of Public Administration (NSOB) and a PhD student affiliated to the Utrecht University School of Governance (USG).