I am a Professor of Politics & Governance at the Utrecht University School of Governance (USG) of Utrecht University, the Netherlands. In this capacity, I chair part of the Public Governance department of USG, serve as a member of USG’s research board and, as of 1 September 2021, am the coordinator of the challenging two-year master program Research in Public Administration and Organisational Science. Until that date, I served as a member and technical chair of the Executive Board of USG. For more executive positions, please have a look at my Curriculum Vitae page.
Before joining Utrecht University, I was a Professor in Political Decision-Making at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In that capacity, I served as the director of research of that department, as Head of Studies Politics of the BSc program Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). I was also a member of the management team of the PPE program’s John Stuart Mill College.
My research and teaching interests are in political judgment and decision making, comparative welfare state research, and political methodology (especially Qualitative Comparative Analysis [QCA]). Some of my current research builds on the VIDI project ‘HIGH-RISK POLITICS’ that I directed between 2012 and 2017. This project, which was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), studied electorally risky decision-making of different political actors (politicians, political parties, governments) on salient issues (welfare state reform and military intervention). See also the project’s website www.highriskpolitics.org.
In my current research, I examine among other things how politicians make judgments, particularly exploring under which conditions they use cognitive rules of thumb (heuristics) like “the rest of us”. Like my earlier research, this work will provide new knowledge of how policy decisions come about that may (not) effectively solve key societal problems.
Between 2014 and 2018, I was a member of The Young Academy (De Jonge Akademie) of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts & Sciences, a platform of young top-researchers. You can find a very short (19 sec.) introduction about my work here (in Dutch). For a somewhat longer – but still short (3 min.) – video produced by Fast Facts in their members of The Young Academy (De Jonge Akademie) series, have a look on the page Research.