We Assess and Explain Success

With so much media and political criticism of their shortcomings and failures, it is easy to overlook the fact that many governments work pretty well much of the time. The SPG program studies when and why the public sector operates really successfully. Therefore, SPG team members have published three books that present over forty case studies that illustrate instances of successful public organisations, successful policy making and successful governance practices.

Guardians of Public Value. How do some organisations rise to prominence and remain in high public esteem through changing and challenging times? This is the question that SPG members Paul 't Hart and Lauren Fahy, in collaboration with Arjen Boin (Leiden University), answer in their recently published book Guardians of Value: How Public Organizations Institutionalize, Adapt and Thrive. The book contains studies on twelve institutions that have done things and done them in ways that were of value to society, were valued by their authorizing environments and gained recognition for doing so for considerable periods of time.

Great Policy Successes. Mallory Compton and Paul 't Hart published  Great Policy Successes: How Governments Get It Right in a Big Way at Least Some of the Time. Based on fifteen case studies this book turns the spotlight on instances of public policy that are remarkably successful. It develops a framework for identifying and assessing policy successes, paying attention not just to their programmatic outcomes but also to the quality of the processes by which policies are designed and delivered, the level of support and legitimacy they attain, and the extent to which successful performance endures over time.

Successful Public Policy. SPG members Joannah Luetjens, Paul 't hart together with Michael Mintrom have published Successful Public Policy: Lessons from Australia and New Zealand. This book presents a series of close-up, in-depth and carefully chosen case study accounts of the genesis and evolution of stand-out public policy achievements, across a range of sectors within Australia and New Zealand. Through these accounts, the book addresses the conceptual, methodological and theoretical challenges that have plagued extant research seeking to evaluate, explain and design successful public policy.


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Successful Public Governance during the Corona Pandemic

The current Corona crisis demonstrates the importance of strong government interventions and good leadership. During this crisis SPG-team members have been reflecting on the meaning of the Corona crisis for successful public governance. For example, by collecting cases of successful crisis management in the past, reflecting on the differences in mitigation strategy between countries and writing about the importance of leadership in times of crises. About this they have been writing blogs, hosted webinars and were featured on podcasts.

         Read about the work of the SPG-team during the Corona-crisis on the Publication, Events and Presentation pages. 

Contact Us:

Bijlhouwerstraat 6, 3511 ZC Utrecht, The Netherlands

TEL: +31 30 253 81 01  |  EMAIL: info.usg@uu.nl

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)