Prof.dr. Arwin van Buuren

Arwin van Buuren (1980) is Professor of Public Administration and program manager of the RePolis Research Program. His research is about new forms of governance capacity, and how public, private and societal actors can effectively combine their capacities for solving complex, wicked issues. He is frequently asked to advise public agencies about issues regarding collaboration and governance. He is especially interested in design-oriented research and publishes regularly about action-oriented research approaches. He has a strong focus on knowledge valorization and bridging the gap between science and society.

Prof. dr. Jurian Edelenbos

Jurian Edelenbos (1971) is professor of Interactive Governance at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology, Erasmus University Rotterdam. He conducts research in the fields of interactive governance networks, trust-building, network management, boundary spanning, and community and civic self-organization. He combines quantitative (surveys) and qualitative research (single, multiple and comparative case study designs) and holds an applied scientific research perspective. He is also Academic Director of IHS (Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies) and is Director of the International PhD Program on Urban Governance and Development.
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Prof. dr. Victor Bekkers

Prof. dr. Victor Bekkers is professor of public administration and public policy and dean of the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences. Between 2013 and 2016, he coordinated the EU Seventh Framework program on social innovation in the public sector, called LIPSE. In this program self-organizing citizen groups are being studied as an example of co-creation in public service delivery innovation ( His research interests are focused on how and under what conditions innovation processes – also in relation to the use of ICT – are shaped in the public sector in order to develop more responsive policy and public service programs.

Dr. Ingmar van Meerkerk

Dr. Ingmar van Meerkerk (1986) is assistant professor at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam. His research activities are focused on community-based initiatives and interactive governance, specifically in the field of urban regeneration. He uses theories on interactive governance and boundary spanning to analyze the interaction between citizen initiatives, professionals and traditional institutions of policy and politics. He focuses on the role, activities and challenges of boundary-spanners in such encounters, as well as their mutual interaction and effects on legitimacy and performance of citizen self-organization. Currently he is participating in an international research project on the performance and durability of community-based initiatives (in particular community enterprises). He is also involved in an evaluation of the governance model of the municipality of Rotterdam. In analyzing community-based initiatives, he uses both quantitative survey research and qualitative comparative case study research.

Keywords of research activities / publications: Citizen Self-Organization; Citizen Participation; Boundary Spanning; Governance networks; Democratic (Throughput) Legitimacy; Network Performance

Dr. Astrid Molenveld

Astrid Molenveld is assistant professor at the Department of Public Administration of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Astrid obtained her PhD in social and political science in June 2016. In the thesis she studied the determinants explaining coordination and ‘organizational adaptation’ of cross-cutting policy programs. Her current research activities include comparative research on coordination of cross-cutting (i.e. ‘wicked’) policy issues and community self-organization.

At the moment she is involved, together with part of the Repolis team, in the BEGIN project (Interreg North Sea Region – Blue green Infrastructure through social innovation) which examines the possibilities to implement and maintain Blue and Green infrastructures through social innovation and participation of a variety of stakeholders, both public and private as well as individual citizens. Astrid has a particular interest in applying multiple research-methods in her work, like Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), Q-methodology and statistics.

Dr. Philip Karré

Dr. Philip Marcel Karré (1978) is affiliated with Erasmus University Rotterdam as assistant professor in Public Administration and with Inholland University of Applied Sciences as associate professor in the field of Urban Governance. He is coordinator of an Urban Knowledge Lab, in which Erasmus University Rotterdam and the municipality of Rotterdam cooperate in developing evidence-based policies on quality of life issues in the city. His research topics are hybrid organizations and hybrid governance, social enterprises and other forms of social innovation on the interface between state, market and society.

José Nederhand MSc

José Nederhand is assistant professor at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research focuses on collaborative governance, public-private partnerships and community-based collectives. She is involved in the program management of the interdisciplinary Vital Cities and Citizens (VCC) research program in which multiple faculties collaborate to improving the quality of life in cities and increase the social and economic impact of the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Keywords of research activities / publications: Citizen Self-Organization; PPS partnerships; Social Innovation; Governance networks; Co-Production

Dr. Jitske van Popering-Verkerk

Dr. Jitske van Popering-Verkerk is post-doctoral researcher in the research program RePolis at the department of Public Administration and Sociology of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research focuses on collaboration in decision making and the capacities of actors to contribute to successful decision making. She is also involved as researcher and advisor in the valorization center GovernEUR and conducted several studies on complex issues in spatial planning, like water management, climate change adaptation, energy and soil. In these studies, she applies interactive and participative methods.

Dr. William Voorberg

William Voorberg (1985) is a post-doctoral researcher at the department of Public Administration and Sociology of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. His current research aims at understanding co-creation between governments and citizens. In this, the focal point lies on whether co-creation can be considered as a valuable asset to public service delivery and what is needed in order to facilitate that. In collaboration with prof. dr. Arwin van Buuren, Voorberg initiated the Erasmus Governannce Design Studio. In this studio, concrete policy instruments and interventions are developed for concrete challenges within the public domain.

Malika Igalla MSc

Malika Igalla, Msc. is a PhD candidate at the department of Public Administration and Sociology and supports the Repolis program. Her PhD is about performance and durability of citizen initiatives for which she received a NWO Research Talent grant. Her focus is on how core factors, such as the attitude and support of governments, and characteristics of networks in which citizen initiatives operate, affect performance and durability of citizen initiatives. In this regard, she conducts an impact measurement for citizen initiatives and uses both qualitative and quantitative methods to carry out her research activities.

Keywords of research activities: self-organization, citizen initiatives, community initiatives, durability, performance, network structures, social capital, government support

Margot Hermus MSc

Margot Hermus is a PhD candidate at the department of Public Administration and Sociology of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research is focused on the contribution of citizens to public problem solving, policy making and service provision. She studies the perceived benefits of community-based initiatives, the amount and kind of support governments provide and the resulting relationship with and embedding of these initiatives within traditional institutions of policy making and service provision. Part of her PhD-project entails the use of design methods to combine the insights of governmental and societal stakeholders to find new ways to organize complementarity between community-based initiatives and traditional governmental institutions.

Steven Blok MSc

Steven Blok (1992) is a PhD candidate at the department of Public Administration and Sociology. His research is, on the one hand, focused on the question of collective action with respect to citizen initiatives. On the other hand, his research is concerned with the effect of governmental interventions on how well citizen initiatives function. He aims to find out what measures have a positive effect and what measures possibly ‘crowd out’ citizen initiatives. As a part of his research he works part time at Berenschot, a consultancy firm, on themes related to citizen initiatives and citizen participation.

Vivian Visser MSc

Vivian Visser is a PhD candidate at the department of Public Administration and Sociology. Of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research focuses on how public authorities ‘create space’ for citizen initiatives, especially in the spatial domain. She concentrates on the changing relation between governments and citizens, and the inherent power structures that affect this relation. She is also involved as researcher and advisor in the valorization center GovernEUR, on themes related to participative planning, citizen participation and citizen initiatives. In her research, she uses both qualitative (interviews, document analysis, participatory observations) and quantitative (survey experiments) methods.

Gijs Custers MSc

Gijs Custers is a PhD candidate at the department of Public Administration and Sociology at the Erasmus University. His research focuses on developments in volunteering and neighbourhood involvement in Rotterdam. More specifically, he investigates whether differences between neighbourhoods in participation have changed in the past decade, thereby using the Wijkprofieldata (see Furthermore, he studies how neighbourhood organisations mediate between citizens and government.

Joëlle van der Meer MSc

Joëlle van der Meer is a PhD candidate at the department of Public Administration and Sociology at Erasmus University. Her research focuses on the relation between democratic innovation and the craft of civil servants. Within this research project, she aims to study the effects of the shift towards governance and its consequences for the competences of civil servants. Moreover, she investigates how public organizations can influence the development of civil servants and what the effects are for the individual, the organization and society. As part of her research, she works one day a week at the municipality of Rotterdam.

Dr. Mike Duijn

Mike Duijn (1966) works from November 2012 onwards as senior scientific researcher at the department of Public Administration of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. His specific experience, expertise and interest focuses on governance issues in the domains of urban and spatial planning, decentralized energy supply, subsurface, soil and water management, and climate adaptation. For these issues he makes use of qualitative and participatory research methods (workshops, scenario sessions, gaming/simulation) and he organizes and facilitates interactive policy and learning processes in the public sector. Next to his academic job, Mike also works as senior researcher/consultant in the team Environmental Planning of TNO Strategy and Policy, from 1998 onwards.

Dr. ir. Jasper Eshuis

Jasper Eshuis is assistant professor in Public Administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam. He researches self-organization in urban communities and urban regeneration initiatives. Self-organization is largely driven by enthusiasm and energy from various actors, rather than hierarchical policy making. Jasper is especially interested in the question how citizens, firms and public parties work together in more or less horizontal relationships, based on enthusiasm and appealing initiatives, and how this co-evolves with classic top-down policy making through rules and regulations. Jasper carries out quantitative research through surveys and experiments, as well as qualitative research through interviews and (participant) observations. Currently he is involved in action research in the Zomerhof-area in Rotterdam.

Prof. dr. J.F.M. Koppenjan

Joop Koppenjan is professor of public administration and senior staff member of the Netherlands Institute of Governance (NIG). He studies governance networks, public-private partnerships and innovation. Koppenjan has been involved in a large number of research projects for various public authorities. Currently he is project leader of two NWO funded research projects: Managing Complex System Disruptions (carried out by EUR and VU Amsterdam, in the context of ProRail’s ExploRail programme) and Smart governance of Public private partnerships, carried out bij the EUR and University of Twente, in collabaration with RWS, Deltares, NSOB, Rebel group, Resetmanagement and Twijnstra Gudde.

Saskia Ruijsink MSc

Saskia Ruijsink is a senior lecturer, trainer, advisor and researcher in the field of urban planning and development at the IHS (Institute for Housing and Urban Development studies). Her topics include strategic planning, participation, self-organisation and social innovation in urban planning and governance and sustainable urban development. She combines practical work in (international capacity development) projects with academic research and has experience in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia. She is currently a researcher in the EU funded TRANSIT project on Social Innovation ( She combines her work with her PhD research on the way people deal with chance, uncertainty and unpredictability in multi-stakeholder forms of urban planning.

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