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  • Stefanie and Mallory

Achieving Success in Public Governance

Updated: Feb 12, 2018


SPG-members Stefanie Beyens and Mallory Compton are co-ordinating a course this semester on how to achieve success in public governance. For the purpose of this course, we have asked students to contribute blog posts about their process, whether that's grasping concepts or analysing successful cases. We are very grateful to our students who have allowed us to follow their journey. 


Below, you’ll find the course description. Blog posts will follow soon!


Societies cannot survive and thrive if they are not governed well. Solving complex and shared societal challenges – e.g. climate change, anti-smoking and health initiatives, refugee resettlement, etc. – requires effective management and coordination. Achieving this in the current era of connectivity, transparency, accountability and assertive, skeptical and empowered citizens deeply challenges government institutions.


In both popular and academic discourse, a focus has been on the frailty and fallibility of government institutions. We excel in explaining how policies fail, organizations decline or waste resources, and collaborations fall short.


Taking a different perspective, in this course, we seek an understanding of the practices which contribute to good governance. In doing so, we aim to empower students as future public leaders with the analytical skills to assess success and the practical skills to communicate the results of their analyses to both academic and applied audiences, in a range of policy domains.


In the first six weeks of this course, in a seminar format with guest speakers and with intensive small-group discussions, we examine the theoretical and practical concepts of success in public policies, public agencies, collaborations, and in local government. Each week, you will work in groups to write and present blog posts (to be published on the Successful Public Governance research program website). These memo-style blog entries will begin as syntheses of canonical works, and advance through the term towards highlighting theoretical controversies and empirical applications, with the goal of developing innovative arguments and insights into the literature(s) on governance success. This format prepares you for positions of leadership in a range of disciplines by requiring not only thorough theoretical fluency and application familiarity, but also the ability to accessibly contextualize and communicate analytical results to academic and practitioner audiences.


Stefanie Beyens & Mallory Compton



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)