Honorary doctors

Professor Christopher Hood

On 8 November 2017, at the instigation of Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB), Erasmus University Rotterdam is awarding Professor Christopher Hood an honorary doctorate for his contribution to the development of the field of Public Administration in general and in the Netherlands in particular. 

Professor Christopher Hood (1947) is currently emeritus Fellow at All Souls College of the University of Oxford, where he was Gladstone Professor of Government between 2001 and 2014. Before that, he was Professor of Public Administration and Public Policy at the London School of Economics from 1989 onwards. In 1996, he was elected Fellow of the British Academy.  

Professor Hood has published various iconic books and over 100 articles in scientific journals. With the article ‘A public management of all seasons?’ published in 1991, he provided Public Administration scholars with the concepts they needed to make sense of New Public Management practices, i.e. the worldwide rise of the use market tools within the public sector at the end of the last century. Even at that early stage, he was warning about the risks of the one-sided emphasis on the values of efficiency and effectiveness in these practices. 

His earlier work on the tools of government propelled research on policy instruments, especially in the Netherlands, at University of Twente and at Erasmus University Rotterdam. His book ‘Limits of Administration’ (1976) was one of the sources of inspiration underlying the ideas on policy networks as they emerged in the research of the young Rotterdam Public Administration department. They became part of the DNA of this department’s research. Publications that testify to this work are the ‘Art of State’ (1998), ‘Tools of government in the digital age’ (2007, with Helen Margetts) and ‘The Blame Game’ (2011). 

His critical attitude towards rhetoric inspired him and his co-author Ruth Dixon to analyse the results of three decades of New Public Management reforms in the UK, as presented in his most recent book ‘A government that worked better and cost less?’ (winner of the 2015 Louis Brownlow Book Award of the National Academy of Public Administration and the 2016 W.J.M. Hackenzie Award). 

The academic work he has undertaken during his career has had a constituent and enduring influence on the development of the discipline of Public Administration in the Netherlands.