Cassandra Willems is an FWO predoctoral researcher (Fundamental Research mandate) in the Politics and Public Governance (PPG) Research Group at the Department of Political Science at the University of Antwerp. She is also an associated member of the Government and Law Research Group, with Professor Patricia Popelier as her co-promoter. She obtained a Master of Laws degree (LL.M) at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven with distinction (2021), followed by a Master of International Relations and Diplomacy (MSSc) at the University of Antwerp, finishing first of her class with great distinction (2022).

Cassandra’s studies under which conditions the inclusion of principle-based regulation (PBR) in hybrid regulatory regimes affects both beneficiaries' and regulatees' trust in those regimes. Trust in regulation and in the actors that define, implement, enforce and judge the regulation - what we call the regulatory regime - is crucial. However, trust in regulatory regimes is often put to the test by high-impact events (e.g. financial crisis, COVID pandemic, PFAS scandal). In looking for ways to restore such trust, principle-based regulation (PBR) has been put forward as a responsive and flexible approach to regulation that sets principles or goals broadly and at a high level. Instead of focusing on 'pure' PBR, the project will advance current research by studying PBR in a hybrid context (combining prescriptive regulation and PBR). Drawing upon state-of-the-art research, three conditions are formulated, analysed and assessed in order to study their role in explaining beneficiaries' and regulatees' trust in hybrid regulatory regimes: rule formulation, interest participation and regulatory enforcement.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Regulatory Governance 
  • Public Administration 
  • Interest Group Politics 
  • Trust and Regulation
  • Policy Design​

Full publication list:

Selected Projects:

  • 2021 - 2025 - Principle-based Regulation and Trust: Explaining Beneficiaries' and Regulatees' Trust in Hybrid Regulatory Regimes.

ORCID 0000-0003-2992-2407