We deal with executive agencies on more or less a daily basis. Take the Land Registry and Mapping Agency, for instance, or RDW and UWV. Or NS and ProRail, to name two other examples. Organisations like this operate at some distance from the government and enjoy a high level of autonomy. In effect, they handle various government responsibilities while not belonging to the government proper. How does this work in practice? And what kind of tensions does this create – in the agencies’ relationship with private citizens, for example, or the government formulating the policies they are expected to implement? Professor Sandra van Thiel studies questions like these. She has been appointed as professor of Public Management at the Erasmus University Rotterdam’s Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS) as of 1 May 2020.
In the months ahead, Professor Van Thiel will be improving and expanding the department’s bachelor and master degree programmes in the public management field. She will also be refreshing subject matter within the department’s research into public management by introducing themes like behavioural public administration and experimental research in the ‘Rotterdam approach’ to public administration. Taking advantage of psychological theories and experimental methods – within the Erasmus Behavioural Lab, for example – allows us to increase our insight into the behaviour exhibited by citizens and the people responsible for implementing policy.
About Sandra van Thiel
Professor Sandra van Thiel was appointed as professor of Public Management at Radboud University Nijmegen in 2012. Before this, she served as associate professor of Public Administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research focuses on the creation of executive agencies and the governance relationships between government bodies and these semi-autonomous organisations. Her CV lists over 100 academic articles and books in this field, published by a variety of journals and publishers. She also regularly advises government bodies and semi-autonomous organisations. In 2012 Van Thiel led a parliamentary inquiry for the Dutch Senate into the consequences of privatisation and autonomisation for citizens. She has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Public Sector Management (IJPSM) since 2015.
Van Thiel will be occupying a chair at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB).