Contesting Governance


The Contesting Governance Platform is one of the flagships of the Centre of Global Challenges (UGlobe) and one of many research platforms within the research theme Institutions for Open Societies (IOS). The Contesting Governance Platform brings together researchers from across Utrecht University who share a profound interest in the critical and interdisciplinary exploration of themes at the crossroads of governance, institutions, human rights, conflict and security. We apply critical perspectives to unravel how power is constituted, and how it operates across particular institutional and societal fields.

The flagship combines the normative framework of law with the complexity that emerges from grounded empirical research and explores the tensions between them. The flagship finds inspiration in interdisciplinary dialogue, collaboration, and teaching. More specifically, we aim to connect with other researchers, educators, and societal partners who want to push the boundaries of contemporary research on our core themes.


We currently collaborate with the following societal partners that operate in different contexts:

  • Airwars
  • Amnesty International
  • Clingendael Institute
  • Dutch Ministery of Defense
  • Dutch Ministery of Foreign Affairs
  • Dutch Police/Police Academy
  • Friends of the Earth NL
  • Geneva Call
  • Human Rights Watch
  • International Justice Mission
  • Mathare Social Justice Centre
  • NJCM – Public Interest Litigation Project
  • PAX
  • Public International Law & Policy Group
  • Studium Generale
  • The Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law