Management of Governance Networks

Master in Public Administration

Prof.dr. Joop Koppenjan & Dr. Jasper Eshuis Coordinators of the programme

“Twenty years of international leading research on governance and networks at Erasmus University Rotterdam is the basis for this challenging Master in Management of Governance Networks which offers students the best of both worlds: a training of analytical skills to analyze complex problems, and an understanding of the managerial skills it takes to tackle them.”

What is this specialisation about?

How to tackle wicked societal problems like public safety, health issues (obesity), crime and unemployment? How can collaboration challenges be managed, in order to reconstruct a city centre, to construct a new transport corridor or to expand a harbor or airport? How can governments deal with protests against the location of asylum center, address air pollution or provide complex public services in care, or public transportation? These issues are dealt with in complex networks of actors. These networks are characterized by value differences between stakeholders, and the search for adequate, tailor made solutions.

Are you interested in complex societal problems and ambitious enough to contribute to solving them? The specialisation Management of Governance Networks at Erasmus University Rotterdam is a challenging programme that enables its graduates to analyse, solve and manage complex societal problems within the public sector. 

The cornerstone of the programme is the observation that many of today’s societal challenges for which we seek solutions are very complex. This complexity implies that they:

In order to tackle these problems the governance of networks is crucial. This imposes certain requirements on public managers, such as:

  • Scientific skills: to analyse complex issues as well as the processes and networks in which they evolve.
  • New management and leadership skills: to connect actors and resources. Entrepreneurial skills are required to initiate and realize innovative solutions.
  • Ethical skills: to be a trustful and respected broker between different actors with different values.

This programme equips its graduates with the required competencies.

Why choose this programme?

  • A combination of theory and practice: next to lectures you will work in governance labs on solving governmental problems;
  • Education in both analysing and managing complex social problems;
  • Classes by leading scholars in the world of governance;
  • At the department of Public Administration with an excellent reputation in governance and networks in Europe;
  • At the Erasmus University with its attractive modern campus, located in the vital city of Rotterdam. 


The programme offers a varied set of modules, seminars, working group sessions, and a series of guest lectures by internationally well-known scholars in which the main theoretical bodies of knowledge on governance are presented.

Block 1
Sept - Nov 

Block 2
Nov - Jan 

Block 3
Jan - March 

Block 4 
March - May 

Dilemmas of modern governance 


Media, governance and politics


Project (analyzing a governance process






Master thesis (final research project)





Policy Innovation in Complex Systems


Managing Interactive Governance


Research design


Designing effective governance institutions


International public management



Governance Lab



Master thesis (start)


Working group session

Working group session

Working group session

Game simulation about complex processes 

Seminar 'How to become a network manager ' 

Workshop: 'How to operate in a mediatized world?' 

Seminar 'Giving advice and managing change' 

                                             Guest lectures (block 1-3)


The curriculum is subject to alteration. No rights may be derived from this information (including the information via the links). 

Mode of education

The programme provides courses and training in real-life settings giving an opportunity to learn and practice scientific and managerial skills. The courses provide the most recent theoretical and empirical insights in governance and are given by leading scholars in the field. The practical skills are developed through governance labs, working group sessions and seminars. Inspirational guest lectures enable a knowledge and experience transfer from the experts in the field.