Past Events

1 July 2022

SPG team member Jo Luetjens successfully defended her Phd thesis 'Reforms That Stick: The Politics of Preservation' 

1 September 2021

Publication of our manifesto calling for a Positive Public Administration movement within the PA discipline

After years of gestation and growing cult status on the internet, this Summer, a cross-generational group of 14 scholars from three continents convened by SPG's Scott Douglas and Paul 't Hart published its 'manifesto-essay', entitled Rising to Ostrom’s challenge: an invitation to walk on the bright side of public governance and public service (in: Policy Design and Practice, open access). It will be followed up in 2023 by an ambitious workshop/edited volume project showcasing what a positive approach to studying public administration practices has to offer. The follow-up volume will be co-edited by Tina Nabatchi (Syracuse), Janine O'Flynn (Melbourne) and SPG's Paul 't Hart. 

8 June 2021

Open Webinar about Scaling Up Collaborative Governance Research
On 8 June, the Collaborative Governance Database, a project established as part of SPG, hosted a seminar on the big questions of collaborative governance research and why we need to scale up. SPG team member Scott Douglas was one of the panelists. For more information, please see the flyer and watch the recording of the seminar Here.

12 May 2021

Publication of the 'Governing the Pandemic' book

Paul 't Hart, together with Arjen Boin (Leiden University) and Allan McConnell (University of Sydney), in the book Governing the Pandemic: The Politics of Navigating a Mega-Crisis present unique insights into how governments have responded to the immense challenges of managing the coronavirus pandemic. In the book they examine how governing systems have (i) made sense of emerging transboundary threats (ii) mobilised systems of governance and often fearful and sceptical citizens (iii) crafted narratives amid high uncertainty and (iv) are working towards closure. 

The book appeals to anyone seeking to understand ‘what’s going on?’, but particularly academics and students across multiple disciplines, journalists, public officials, politicians, non-governmental organisations and citizen groups. This publication is open-acces, read the complete book for free Here.

We assess and explain success.

The Successful Public Governance programme aims is aiming at offering a constructive, rigorous and systematic investigation of 'success' in the twenty-first century governance. Read more about the programme and view our staff.

Our research interests include constructing 'success' in governance, assessing and explaining policy, agency, collaborative and local government success.
View the research themes and an overview of related publications.

Successful Public Governance is a research programme within the Utrecht University School of Governance.
View our contact details.

Upcoming Events

December 2021

Two more Great Policy Successes books are on their way
Following the good experience and warm reception of the two books of case studies of policy successes last year, we are happy to announce that two more such projects have been submitted to the publisher and  will be published - again also in open access format - in 2021 and 2022: 

  • Great Policy Successes in Canada. Edited by Mike Howlett, Evert Lindquist, Grace Skogstad, Genevieve Tellier and Paul 't Hart. Read the book proposal Here.
  • Great Policy Successes in Scandinavia. Edited by Jaakko Kaukko, Daniel Nohrstedt, Paul 't Hart, Bent Sofus Tranøy and Carina de la Porte. Read the book proposal Here​.

This will bring the total number of books emanating from the project to 5. Altogether, more than a 150 scholars worldwide have (co-)authored chapters for these books. They will be the basis of what hopefully will be an ever-expanding group of users of the books / case studies in both their teaching and research. Along with the approximately 65 scholars involved to date in the Collaborative Governance Dataset and the special issue(s) associated with it, they will also form the natural constituency of collaborators on future, post ERC grant-funded activities under the banner of Positive Public Administration. 

View the News and Events page for more information about activities by the SPG-project.

SPG Books on Successful Public Organisations and Successful Public Policies



This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No694266).