As the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence's researchers conduct and disseminate their research, we will post announcements and updates on new research insights, upcoming events and new opportunities here.


11 Jun 2024 | Patricia Popelier on how a government is formed in VRT's Het Kwartier (from 3'20"; in Dutch).

6 Jun 2024 | We are excited to share this new open-access publication "How Trust Matters for the Performance and Legitimacy of Regulatory Regimes: The Differential Impact of Watchful Trust and Good-Faith Trust", authored by Koen Verhoest, Martino Maggetti, Edoardo Guaschino, and Jan Wynen.

  • Abstract: Trust is expected to play a vital role in regulatory regimes. However, how trust affects the performance and legitimacy of these regimes is poorly understood. Our study examines how the interplay of trust and distrust relationships among and toward political, administrative, and regulatory actors shapes perceptions of performance and legitimacy. Drawing on cross-country survey data measuring trust and distrust among various actors within regulatory regimes, our analysis reveals that relationships of watchful trust in terms of a “trust but verify” attitude among actors are conducive to higher regulatory performance. Conversely, the combination of high trust with low distrust fosters regime legitimacy, while high levels of watchfulness even have a detrimental impact on legitimacy. Our research underscores that actors within regulatory regimes adopt a logic of con-sequentiality when evaluating and contributing to regime performance. In contrast, for fostering regime legitimacy, a logic of appropriateness appears to be more relevant.

15 May 2024 | We are excited to announce the publication of the "Elgar Encyclopedia of Corruption and Society", co-edited by Luís de Sousa (Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal) and our very own Susana Coroado (Research Groups Politics & Public Governance and Government & Law, University of Antwerp, Belgium).

This cutting-edge Encyclopedia delves deep into the phenomenology of corruption and its impacts on the governance of societies. Addressing what makes corruption such a resilient, complex, and global priority for study, this comprehensive work is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand and combat corruption.

Entries cover diverse topics concerning corruption, looking at their definitions and variations, prevalence, causal factors, governance impacts, and control policies, as well as emerging issues and new challenges such as the strategic use of corruption and the role of technology in fighting it. With coverage ranging from classic corruption themes to high-profile cases and up-and-coming topics, entries explore anti-corruption agencies, ethics committees and management, gender and corruption, gift giving, organized crime, police corruption, sextortion, tax evasion, whistleblowing, and white-collar crime. Combining different methodological approaches, this Encyclopedia delineates corruption as a powerful means of influencing public policy.

Interdisciplinary and international in scope, this Encyclopedia will be an indispensable reference work for students and scholars of regulation and governance, public policy and administration, economic crime and corruption, the sociology of corruption, and terrorism and security studies. It will also benefit policymakers and specialized anti-corruption bodies looking to refresh their knowledge.

Key features:

  • 79 wide-ranging entries organized alphabetically for accessibility and ease of navigation
  • Written by 92 esteemed scholars and practitioners from around the world
  • Includes relevant bibliographic references supporting conceptual, theoretical, and analytical arguments

Dive into the "Elgar Encyclopedia of Corruption and Society" and equip yourself with the knowledge to tackle one of the most pressing issues of our time.​

15 May 2024 | Patricia Popelier on the constitution and the rule of law in Knack (in Dutch).

13 May 2024 | New article by Moritz Kappler, Koen Verhoest, Tobias Bach, Libby Maman and Rahel Schomaker on "What drives trust in regulatory agencies? Probing the relevance of governmental level and performance through a cross-national elite experiment on EU regulation" in European Political Science Review. This article is a result from the collaboration in the H2020 TiGRE project.

  • Abstract: Trust between constituent actors within the European Union (EU)’s multilevel regulatory regimes is decisive for regulatory success. Trust drives information flows, increases compliance, and improves cooperation within these regimes. Despite its importance, systematic knowledge regarding the drivers of trust within regulatory regimes is limited. This paper inquires whether trust in regulatory agencies is influenced by their affiliation with the national or EU governmental level, as well as by their performance. While existing literature predominantly focuses on why citizens place their trust in governments or regulatory agencies, this paper presents original insights regarding the formation of trust among elites within the regulatory regime, including politicians, ministerial officials, agency officials, interest groups, and regulated entities. We employ data obtained from a large-scale vignette experiment conducted in six countries involving 752 decision-makers from relevant organizations. The experimental results suggest that both public and private elite actors’ trust assessment of regulatory agencies does not hinge on cues associated with the governmental level, but rather depends on agency performance. Accordingly, belonging to the national or EU governmental level does not create a difference in trust assessment of regulatory agencies in itself. It, however, shows that particularly elite actors are rather sensitive in terms of the performance of a regulatory agency.

7 May 2024 | Wouter Van Dooren about the appointments of cabinet employees in Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch).

6 May 2024 | The GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence hosted a seminar with the EISON team, a team of researchers in the Netherlands (VU Amsterdam & Tilburg University) working on "External and Internal Supervision Methods and Modalities for Organizational Networks Addressing Complex Societal Issues". It was a fascinating exchange and discussion of research insights on trust, control and regulation. 

6 May 2024 | Together with other experts, Patricia Popelier reflects on NVA's electoral programme in De Morgen (in Dutch).

2 May 2024 | In collaboration with the Faculty of Social Sciences and the FSW Lecture series, the recently launched STRATEGO Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (University of Antwerp) organised its opening lecture with a keynote by Kurt Vandenberghe (DG CLIMA) on Thursday, May 2nd, 2024. Under the banner of "Sustainability, Trust, and European Multilevel Governance", the STRATEGO Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence serves as a cornerstone for academic dialogue and collaboration in the realm of European studies at the University of Antwerp. After introducing STRATEGO, we welcomed Mr. Kurt Vandenberghe, Director-General of DG CLIMA (European Commission), as our keynote speaker. Mr. Vandenberghe shared his insights on the "Prospects and Challenges for the European Green Deal after the 2024 EP elections". After Mr. Vandenberghe's keynote address, we opened the floor to questions from the audience. We concluded our event with a reception generously hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences and the FSW Lecture series.

5 Apr 2024 | 🌟 Event alert! 🌟 The recently launched STRATEGO Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (University of Antwerp) organises its opening lecture with a keynote by Kurt Vandenberghe (DG CLIMA) on Thursday, May 2nd, 2024, 16:30 - 19:30h.

2 Apr 2024 | Wouter Van Dooren reflects on the administration of De Wever II in the city of Antwerp in Het Laatste Nieuws (in Dutch)

13 Mar 2024Jose Alberto Guevara Maldonado receives an FWO grant for a scientific stay at the University of Antwerp. Jose will be visiting the Politics & Public Governance research group from November 2024 to January 2025.

1 Mar 2024 | Patricia Popelier reflects on the work of the Constitutional Court and how the judge usually looks for legitimacy in De Standaard (in Dutch).

21 Feb 2024 | Marijn Hoijtink talks about the failed test with the British Trident missile and what this means for the international reputation of the British in a radio interview with VRT Radio 1's "De Wereld Vandaag" (in Dutch).

20 Feb 2024 | In an interview with the Polish Rzeczpospolita, Dominika Latusek-Jurczak talks about how trust in the financial market should be accompanied by watchfulness (in Polish), based on the TiGRE research on Trust in Governance and Regulation in Europe.

16 Feb 2024 | Bernardo Rangoni has presented his recent book "Experimentalist Governance: From Architectures to Outcomes" at several research institutions across Europe.

16 Feb 2024 | In an interview with Oko Press in Poland, Dominika Latusek-Jurczak talks about "Are our institutions trustworthy? What does the latest research on this topic prove?" (in Polish).

13 Feb 2024 | 📚 Publication spotlight! 📚 Download the open access book chapter "Collaboration for Digital Transformation: So Much More Than Just Technology" authored by Koen Verhoest, Erik Hans Klijn, Lise H. Rykkja, and Gerhard Hammerschmid. This is the closing chapter of the full open access book "Collaborating for Digital Transformation: How Internal and External Collaboration Can Contribute to Innovate Public Service Delivery". Check out the book and all its chapters here.

2 Feb 2024 | 🎓 Several GOVTRUST members from the Politics & Public Governance research group (Peter Bursens, Wouter Van Dooren) have a longstanding involvement in Antwerp Management School's Executive Master in Public Governance & Leadership. The Executive Master programme specifically targets Flemish and Dutch professionals in the public domain. Thanks to its sustainable collaboration with the Politics & Public Governance research group at the University of Antwerp, the programme has a solid foundation in (applied) scientific research.

27 Jan 2024 | From 24 to 26 January 2024, Bernardo Rangoni, David Levi-Faur (HUJI) and Koen Verhoest organised a workshop on "Regulation and (Dis)trust: Exploring a Complex Relationship" at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute. Bringing together scholars from distinct disciplines in polities ranging from European countries and the European Union through North America and Australia to the Global South and China this workshop aimed at exploring the complex relationship between regulation and (dis)trust.

  • Introduction: Today, distrust appears integral to the governance of our societies, often in close association with the multiple crises that have repeatedly shocked us. Regulation has followed, with both substantive reforms and novel institutional architectures. Yet, distrust can vary in strength across polities and policies, as well as over time. Thus, we should not take (dis)trust for granted, but rather, assess it empirically. Equally, we should not assume that distrust has always positively affected regulation, as the conventional view – seeing trust and regulation as alternatives – suggests. Nor should we rule out the possibility that the operation of regulation might feed back into trust, restoring it after a previous breach. But while today it is undeniable that the allegedly pervasive distrust that might fuel regulation is at the heart of the wider politics of governance, we know little about whether, how and why (dis)trust and regulation affect one another. Bringing together scholars from distinct disciplines – notably law, political science and public administration, this workshop aims at exploring – in polities ranging from European countries and the European Union through North America and Australia to the Global South and China – the complex relationship between regulation and (dis)trust.

26 Jan 2024 | 📰 New article on "Have the rules of the game changed? Novel legal interpretations and their impact on the EU’s legitimacy communication" by Elena Escalante-Block in Journal of European Integration.

  • Abstract: Scholars have often argued that European Union (EU) policymaking should be less technocratic and more political. However, it remains unclear whether the politicisation of policy-making processes by the European Commission will strengthen its legitimacy. Some authors view the EU and its institutions as its most effective outside of political strife. Others suggest that more politicisation will increase EU legitimacy as it can lead to debates where European Integration objectives can be redefined. This study argues that the impact of politicisation on the Commission’s legitimacy ultimately depends on the endorsement of novel interpretations of an EU law or policy issue. Here, two state aid policy decisions are compared using a claims-making analysis. The study finds that new legal interpretations made by the Commission led to a politicisation surrounded by questions about the EU’s authority. However, if the European Commission follows pre-established rules, then politicisation can strengthen the EU’s legitimacy communication.

12 Jan 2024 | 📕 Newly published book "Collaborating for Digital TransformationHow Internal and External Collaboration Can Contribute to Innovate Public Service Delivery" is now available open access. The book was edited by Koen Verhoest (GOVTRUST coordinator), Gerhard Hammerschmid, Lise Hellebø Rykkja and Erik Hans Klijn. GOVTRUST members Chesney Callens and Dries Van Doninck also contributed to the book. The book mainly builds upon comparative work from the Horizon 2020 TROPICO project.

  • Description: As worldwide institutions acknowledge the necessity of digital, open, and collaborative governments, this timely book offers a comprehensive exploration of digital transformation, intergovernmental collaboration, collaborative governance, and public sector innovation. The book * highlights how collaborations between government organizations, as well as with the private sector and users, enhance digital transformation and public service innovation; *sheds light on the complexities, risks, and power dynamics inherent in these collaborations; * combines practical accounts with theoretical academic rigor; * and proposes a roadmap for more innovative and effective governments in the digital age.

8 Jan 2024 | 📕 New book on "EU Law and National Constitutions: The Constitutional Dynamics of Multi-Level Governance", edited by Alberto Nicòtina, Patricia Popelier, and Peter Bursens. 

  • Description: This book provides an in-depth guide to researchers and practitioners who are interested in analysing the evolution of EU law from a national and comparative constitutional law perspective. The volume deals with questions of how EU member states’ constitutional systems, including the subnational tier, interact with the supranational level. It maps the evolution over time of constitutional strategies in the face of multi-level governance and individual contextual factors on an empirical basis. The volume comprises 12 national reports written by leading experts in constitutional and EU law, and in political science. The countries discussed include the six founding member states, together with a selection of member states in which a clear-cut evolution in the national constitutional approach towards the EU can be observed. These comprise the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. The latter is included as an “extreme” case in which the change in constitutional strategy over time has resulted in withdrawing from the Union altogether. Taken together, the book assembles the building blocks of an explanatory theory of constitutional strategies in the face of multi-level governance. The volume will be of interest to students and researchers in comparative constitutional law, political science, and multidisciplinary EU studies. It will also be a valuable resource for policy-makers.

4 Jan 2024 | 📰 New article on "A Drivers Framework of Organizational SDG Engagement" by Björn Mestdagh, Luc Van Liedekerke, and Olivier Sempiga. 

  • Abstract: This paper constitutes a theoretical reflection on organizational engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Despite the widespread adoption of such engagements, a precise definition and positioning of organizational SDG engagement are lacking in the literature. This gap also extends to the underlying motivations driving organizations to actively engage with the SDGs. To address these, this study aims to achieve two key objectives. Firstly, it seeks to establish a foundational understanding by defining and delineating the concept of organizational SDG engagement, recognizing its distinctiveness from Corporate Sustainability (CS) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Secondly, leveraging existing literature on CS and CSR, we propose a comprehensive driver framework for organizational SDG engagement. This framework underscores morality, efficiency, and legitimacy as primary drivers. The overarching goal of this reflective paper is, therefore, to enhance the theoretical comprehension of organizational SDG engagement by applying and integrating existing literature into the conceptual framework.

2023 GOVTRUST News

27 Dec 2023 | New article by Andreas Corcaci on "Implementing Decisions on Environmental Conflicts Beyond the Nation State" in Nordic Journal of European Law (open access).

  • Abstract: This article theorises the national implementation of European and international decisions on environmental conflicts, integrating both judgments from courts and so-called managerial decisions from (non-)compliance mechanisms in multilateral environmental agreements. Starting from the observation that the impact of climate change is increasing with backlash from populist governments and political regimes against its mitigation, implementing legal obligations in the absence of specialised environmental courts is crucial to protect the environment from harm. However, systematic insights on the national implementation of judgments and managerial decisions made beyond the nation state are underexplored. Following a political science perspective, this article conceptualises the conditions explaining this phenomenon by making use of existing research from various disciplines including political science and law on policy implementation to enable systematic comparisons. For this purpose, the article outlines a concept structural approach based on two hypothesised explanations: one based on the mechanisms used to solve conflicts, and another relating to the legitimacy of relevant institutions and processes of conflict resolution. These explanatory pathways reflect the existing management and enforcement approaches from the political science literature on implementation and follow a conjunctural logic. The theoretical approach developed in this article enables systematic comparisons across decisions and thus accounts for a variety of separate but equally valid explanations. Future research and empirical analysis will directly feed back into the concept structure for further theoretical development and lead to generalisable insights on the national implementation of court judgments and managerial decisions on environmental conflicts. In this way, the aim is to contribute to both political science and legal literature regarding European and international environmental law, environmental politics, and judicial governance.

26 Dec 2023 | New article on "How is reputation management by regulatory agencies related to their employees' reputational perception?" by Mette Østergaard Pedersen, Koen Verhoest and Heidi Houlberg Salomonsen in Regulation & Governance.

  • Abstract: Existing research investigating regulatory agencies' reputation-conscious behavior have primarily focused on reactive behavior in the context of reputational threats. Additionally, this literature has primarily focused on agencies' responses to such threats and external audiences' perceptions of agencies reputation, although reputation resides in both external and internal audiences. This study aims to address these two gaps by (1) identifying the relevance of regulatory agencies' reputations vis-à-vis internal audiences and (2) investigating whether reputations, in this case as judged by internal audiences, can be cultivated when managers of regulatory agencies perform reputation management in a more proactive sense. Using a unique two-wave panel survey targeting internal audiences from three Danish regulatory agencies, we find a positive and significant relationship between reputation management and how internal audiences perceive the organizational reputation. Moreover, we find that employee advocacy partially mediates this relationship. Given that regulatory agencies are particularly susceptible to reputational threats and given that the reputational perception of employees affect other employee outcomes as well as their regulatory decision making, this study shows the potential of reputation management by regulatory agencies as an instrument for affecting employees' outcomes.

13 Dec 2023 | Good news from Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)! A new project was awarded to Esther van Zimmeren, Patricia Popelier and Bjorn Kleizen on "Trust in Specialised Courts: The Unified Patent Court as a Case Study to Disentangle Trust Dynamics". Congrats!

12 Dec 2023 | New article on "Designing cross-sector collaboration to foster technological innovation: Empirical insights from eHealth partnerships in five countries" by Koen Verhoest, Chesney Callens, Erik Hans Klijn, Lena Brogaard, Jaime García-Rayado, and Steven Nõmmik in Public Administration Review.

  • Abstract: This article examines the impact of partnership design on technological innovation in public-private innovation partnerships. It develops two competing hypotheses on how specific partnership characteristics lead to innovation in health care services. The study compares 19 eHealth partnerships across five European countries and uses fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis to test the hypotheses. The findings show that small, centralized, and homogeneous partnerships are most successful at achieving technological innovation. The study highlights the importance of partnership design in spurring innovation and calls for a reconsideration of some of the underlying assumptions of collaborative innovation theory.

11 Dec 2023 | Bernardo Rangoni contributed to the Encyclopedia of Public Policy with an entry on "Experimentalist Governance in Public Policy". 

  • Abstract: This entry introduces unfamiliar readers to “experimentalist governance”, an analytically distinctive form of governance that is presented as a normatively desirable alternative to conventional hierarchical governance and that, in line with the American pragmatism by which it draws inspiration, is generally defined as “recursive policymaking and revision based on inclusive review of implementation experience”. The entry begins by briefly discussing two concepts – “directly-deliberative polyarchy” and “democratic experimentalism” – that are largely equivalent to experimentalist governance, but which have appeared earlier and with different emphasises. Then, it concentrates on the “classic” experimentalist governance architecture, taking pains to set boundaries between this and other major concepts in public policy. That is to say, explaining what experimentalist governance is, and what it is not. Finally, the entry looks at recent trends, namely the emergence of a “simplified”...

8 Dec 2023 | Recent work by Jan Boon, Jan Wynen and Koen Verhoest on reputation and organisational rigidity was picked up by the London School of Economics. As a result, they contributed a blog post "Facing political criticism, government agencies often become more bureaucratic" for the London School of Economics blog, based on their paper "Do reputational threats influence the rigidity of US agencies? A dynamic panel data approach" in Public Administration Review. Link to the original article.

  • Abstract: Governments and government agencies are frequently the subject of criticism from the public, media, and politicians, over issues of inefficiency and bureaucracy. In new research, Jan Boon, Jan Wynen and Koen Verhoest find that exposure to these criticisms and the reputational damage that they can do can lead to government agencies having more rigid bureaucracies. They find that government organizations which experienced bursts of negativity, especially from legislators in Congress, were more likely to centralize decision-making, formalize procedures, disempower employees, and restrict information flows. 

28 Nov 2023 | Bernardo Rangoni presented his book "Experimentalist Governance: From Architectures to Outcomes" for an interdisciplinary audience at University of Antwerp. During the presentation, he provides insights into the themes and inspiration behind the book and answered questions from the audience. The book (a) provides a timely examination of five growingly crucial policy domains — electricity, natural gas, communications, finance, and pharmaceuticals; (b) relates to key debates in regulatory governance, itself an inter- and multi-disciplinary field stemming from law, public administration, and political science; and (c) offers a novel analytical framework that is valuable for studying the influence of non-hierarchical institutional structures on actual policy processes and policy outcomes. Find out more about the book and order here.​

14 Nov 2024 | Several GOVTRUST members traveled to the Netherlands (Den Haag) for a "Leiden meets Antwerp" workshop. More specifically, the workshop reunited researchers from the Democracy & Bureaucracy research group at Leiden University and the Politics & Public Governance research group at University of Antwerp. Researchers from both groups presented their work on hybridity (Susana Coroado, PPG & GOVTRUST), interest groups and agenda setting (Frederik Stevens, PPG), school governance (Diego Salazar Morales et al., D&G), and accessibility of evaluative information (Valérie Pattyn & Caelesta Braun, D&G). The workshop further strengthened the ties between both research groups.

4 Nov 2023 | Once again, Public Administration research at the University of Antwerp is ranked 22nd (1st in Belgium) on the Global Shanghai Ranking for PA 2023. Congratulations to the Politics & Public Governance research group on their joint efforts that contributed to this great achievement!

20 Oct 2023 | Dominika Prozowska was awarded the Prof. Konopacki Best PhD Thesis Award by the Polish Association for European Studies. Her dissertation “How People Trust Their Governments? Trends, Patterns and Determinants of Trust Differentiation in Multilevel Polities” received 1st prize as the best European Studies PhD dissertation defended in years 2021 and 2022. In their assessments, the committee members considered, among others, the novelty of the research, its scientific relevance and excellence. The award ceremony took place during the 4th European Studies Conference in Cracow, Poland. Read the thesis summary here. Download the online version of the full thesis here. Congratulations on an outstanding achievement, Dominika!

14 Oct 2023 | Lieven Janssens (Politics & Public Governance, UAntwerp) and Filip De Rynck (Ghent University) presented their report on the "Future Vision on Local and Domestic Governance in Flanders" (Toekomstvisie op het Lokaal en Binnenlands Bestuur in Vlaanderen) in the Flemish Parliament. Their report is based on more than 240 interviews and discussions with academics, civil servants, umbrella organisations, political parties and civil society and portrays a consensus among the academic partners of the Policy Research Centre Governance Innovation (incl. partners from KU Leuven, UGhent, UAntwerp and UHasselt). In broad terms, the future vision states the following. Social challenges surrounding climate, energy, healthcare, housing, poverty, mobility, open space, water, etc. require a reformed domestic administration for a better integrated, more effective and better democratically legitimised approach. This administrative model is based on, on the one hand, larger and stronger local authorities and, on the other hand, a Flemish government that collaborates with local authorities on these tasks and reorganizes itself together with those local authorities and social organizations for a better integrated area-oriented policy. This should take shape in a political system with stronger popular representation, both at local and Flemish level and with more constructive political-official relationships at both levels. This report is the starting point for a thorough social debate and will hopefully inspire the next government statement. For more information and to download the report, please visit (only in Dutch).

6 Oct 2023 | Cassandra Willems received a 4-year PhD scholarship from the Research Foundation Flanders - FWO (supervisors: Koen Verhoest, Patricia Popelier and Peter Bursens). In next few years she will study under which conditions the inclusion of principle-based regulation (PBR) in hybrid regulatory regimes affects both beneficiaries' and regulatees' trust in those regimes. This innovative research adds to the extensive work done on regulation by UAntwerp's Politics & Public Governance research group and the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence, including the multi-level and multi-actor nature of regulatory governance and the horizontal and vertical complexity of contemporary politics and public governance. Cassandra is the perfect candidate for the job, being both educated in Law and Social Sciences and being driven by a particular interest in law in action, how rules find their implementation in practice and what their societal impact could be. She has a great track record and has already proven to be an integral part of our research team in the past few months. We are looking forward to her upcoming work! Find out more about the project on 'Principle-based Regulation and Trust'.

3 Oct 2023 | New article by Tom Langbroek and Koen Verhoest on "Explaining interactions in collaborative innovation arrangements: How organizations influence their representatives’ interactions in collaborative innovation arrangements" in Public Policy and Administration.

  • Abstract: Innovation through collaboration has been increasingly adopted to tackle complex social issues. As a result, the development of public sector innovations is to a lesser degree an ‘in-house’ matter and public sector innovations are increasingly more developed in collaborative arrangements that force organizations to interact across organizational borders. Despite the growing body of literature on collaborative innovation, little is known about the influence of organizations on the interactions of their members when they are acting on behalf of their organization in such collaborative arrangements. Through social network analysis, we examine how organizations influence the eagerness of their representatives in arrangements for collaborative innovation to engage in interactions outside official meetings with other participants. We found that the representative’s freedom to act and the extent to which the higher-level managers of the own organization sees the innovation project as a priority stimulates the extent to which the representative interacts with other participants in the arrangement. Moreover, reciprocity and having a coordinating role in the process determines interaction as well.

29 Sep 2023 | Koen Verhoest participated in the International Conference organised by the EU-funded EnTrust project, from 28 to 29 September 2023 hosted at University of Siena, Italy. The conference theme was "Trust and Distrust in Governance: Exploring the Impact of Social and Political Dynamics". Koen Verhoest presented research results from the TiGRE project as well as the work of the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence.

29 Sep 2023 | New publication by Susana Coroado on "Leviathan vs Goliath or States vs Big Tech and what the digital services act can do about it", published in as a working paper in the series Forum Transregionale Studien. Freely available for download in open access.

  • Abstract: Big Tech companies have attained unprecedented power and are entrenched in all aspects of public and private lives of individuals and communities in the last few years. Their mounting economic power, geopolitical relevance and outstanding impact on democratic rule and fundamental rights make them rival with the power of sovereign states. Simultaneously, the companies try to replicate rule of law structures in their own governance. Amidst the contestation of Big Tech power, the EU Digital Services Act has emerged as a most advanced regulation aimed at tackling the companies’ power. However, it risks legitimizing the self-regulatory instruments and reinforcing the power of the most dominant companies.

28 Sep 2023 | New article by Susana Coroado and co-authors on "Politicians Support (and Voters Reward) Intra-Party Reforms to Promote Transparency" in Party Politics.

  • Abstract: Political parties increasingly rely on self-regulation to promote ethical standards in office. The adoption of ethics self-regulation and its ability to induce change is likely to be a function of the responses from politicians and voters. Without external enforcement mechanisms, compliance requires support from legislators. In turn, if voters perceive self-regulation as cheap talk, officials have fewer incentives to acquiesce. The extent to which such efforts are rewarded by voters and supported by elected officials remains an open question. We examine this question in a paired conjoint experiment with elected officials and voters in Portugal and Spain. The results show that politicians support (and voters reward) financial disclosures, lobbying registries, and sanctions for MPs involved in corruption cases. Voters also reward term limits, and the effects are not moderated by ideological agreement. The findings suggest that parties can benefit from promoting transparency reforms and are not penalized by experimentation.

26 Sep 2023 | Catherine Van de Heyning on cyberbullying and the 'gossip girl' channels on TikTok in De Morgen and on Radio 1's "De Ochtend" (in Dutch).

22 Sep 2023 | Koen Verhoest and Chesney Callens presented and discussed their work on principles of a dynamic, collaborative and crisis-resistant government organisation at the President's Council (Voorzitterscollege) of the Flemish government. The complex and transversal problems that the Flemish government is confronted with today require a dynamic, collaborative and crisis-resistant government. In recent years, Koen Verhoest and Chesney Callens have conducted research into the structure, culture, management and coordination of the Flemish government, with the aim of providing tools for strengthening a future-oriented Flemish government. 

22 Sep 2023 | New article by Jan Boon, Jan Wynen, Walter Daelemans, Jens Lemmens and Koen Verhoest on "Agencies on the parliamentary radar: Exploring the relations between media attention and parliamentary attention for public agencies using machine learning methods" in Public Administration.

  • Abstract: The news media frame political debate about public agencies, and enable legislators with incomplete information to monitor and act upon agency (mal)performance. While studies show that the news media matters for parliamentary attention, the contingent nature of this relation has been understudied. Building on agenda-setting theory, this study theorizes that the effect of newspaper coverage is contingent on the sentiment of coverage, the majority vs. opposition role of legislators, and the locus (committee vs. plenaries) of parliamentary questions. Supervised machine learning methods allow to code sentiment towards agencies in newspapers and parliament, after which a balanced panel relates these data to the questioning behavior of legislators in parliament over time. Results show that media attention for public agencies precedes parliamentary attention. Sentiment matters, as positive media attention, was related to (positive) parliamentary attention in the same month. Negative media attention had broader and more enduring influences on parliamentary questioning behavior.

20 Sep 2023 | Patricia Popelier and colleagues ask for respect for the rule of law in De Standaard (in Dutch).

28 Aug 2023 | Patricia Popelier's opinion on the myth of the activist judges in De Standaard (in Dutch).

28 Aug 2023 | The TiGRE project released its White Paper. The White Paper provides a synthesis of the main TiGRE findings and develops scenarios and recommendations to maintain and restore trust in the area of regulatory governance. It is available for download here.

22 Aug 2023 | Patricia Popelier presented her work on "Democracy and Federalism: Foes or Friends?" at Constate’s annual conference on federalism (II Congresso Brasileiro de Federalismo e V Encontro Anual do CONSTATE) taking place in Recife, Brazil, from 21 to 23 August 2023. Thanks to Marcelo Labanca, this conference has become the highlight of Brazilian federalism scholarship, bringing together the entire Brazilian community as well as international scholars in legal scholarship and political science.

11 Aug 2023 | New article by Emmanuel Dockx and Koen Verhoest on "Dissecting the organization matters: Gauging the effect of unit-level and organization-level factors on perceived innovation outcomes" in Public Policy and Administration. 

  • Abstract: Public sector innovation theory argues that the extent to which governments innovate is a question of factors such as capacity, collaboration, leadership, orientation, size, and autonomy. However, public sector organizations cannot be treated as uniform entities. Different units in an organization may have different challenges, networks, and exposure to innovation resources and pressures. Using multi-level survey data from Belgian federal and Flemish public sector managers (N=351), we provide important new knowledge to understand what characteristics and incentives at both levels (units and their organizations) should be promoted and leveraged to support managers’ perceived innovation outcomes.

24 Jul 2023 | New publication by Olivier Sempiga on "The impact of geopolitical risks on price variation and political trust in France: analyzing the Ukraine-Russia conflict" in The Journal of International Relations, Peace Studies, and Development.

  • Abstract: Geopolitical risks (GPRs) have varied consequences over countries and over time. COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine are some of the recent GPRs. The conflict in Ukraine has had far-reaching economic consequences, not only for the countries directly involved in it but also for their trading partners and allies, and on the global economy in general. France, as one of Ukraine and Russia's major trading partners, has also felt the impact of the conflict on its economy. Using data from the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), the paper investigates the impact of GPRs caused by the war in Ukraine on price variation and citizen trust in France. The article conducts a multilinear regression analysis on datasets going back from immediately after the financial global crisis until the first quarter of 2023, with the war in Ukraine still ongoing. Results show that GPRs strongly affect the rise of prices of different products from oil products to food, beverages and other industry products, the association varying from strong to moderate. GPRs are also positively related to a reduction in citizen trust. The relationship between war and price, on the one hand, and the association between war and decrease in trust on the other, is confirmed by robustness checks.

17 Jul 2023 | Several GOVTRUST members presented their work at last week's 9th Biennial Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on Regulatory Governance in Antwerp. Please find below a photo of (part of) the GOVTRUST team at the conference as well as an overview of all papers of GOVTRUST members at the conference.

  • Explaining beneficiaries’ and regulatees’ trust in hybrid regulatory regimes: a conceptual framework –– Cassandra Willems, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • Policy learning in EU renewable energy: what learning, how effective, and why? –– Bernardo Rangoni, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • Varieties of ethics regulations in Westminster-style systems –– Susana Coroado, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • The trade-off between political trust and voice behaviour –– Erasmus Häggblom, Bjorn Kleizen & Wouter Van Dooren, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • Does independence increase trust in regulatory agencies? –– Tobias Bach, Universitetet i Oslo, Koen Verhoest, Universiteit Antwerpen, Martino Maggetti, Université de Lausanne, Jacint Jordana, Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI) & Libby Maman, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Does the Background of the Regulator Matter?  Representation, Critical Mass and Cultural Capture in Regulatory Bodies –– Ixchel Pérez-Durán, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Yannis Papadopoulos, Université de Lausanne, Bastiaan Redert, Universiteit Antwerpen & Juan Carlos Triviño Salazar, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • Accountability, Expertise and Trust in Regulatory Agencies. Implications of representation: diversity within regulatory domains and actors –– Edoardo Guaschino, Université de Lausanne, Juan Carlos Triviño Salazar, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Ixchel Pérez-Durán, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Koen Verhoest, Universiteit Antwerpen & Bastiaan Redert, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • Strengthening Stakeholder Trust: The Impact of Regulatory Accountability –– Jana Gómez Díaz, Jacint Jordana, Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI), Moritz Kappler, Deutsche Hochschule für Verwaltungswissenschaften Speyer (DHV), Martino Maggetti, Université de Lausanne, Libby Maman, Hebrew University of Jerusalem & Koen Verhoest, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • How interactions and trust between stakeholders relate in European regulatory regimes –– Bastiaan Redert & Koen Verhoest, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • What shall we talk about?: How differences in interest group type and language matter for gaining influence in regulatory rulemaking –– Rik Joosen, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • How Does the EU Reconcile Uniform Regulation with Legitimate Diversity? –– Bernardo Rangoni, Universiteit Antwerpen & Jonathan Zeitlin, University of Amsterdam
  • Trust and watchfulness in regulatory intermediaries: drivers and effects –– David Levi-Faur, Hebrew University of Jerusalem & Koen Verhoest, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • Towards a New Compulsory Licensing Mechanism for the EU for the Next (Health) Crisis? A Comparative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Compulsory Licensing Mechanisms –– Esther van Zimmeren, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • From injury to injury: how administrative burdens spark secondary victimization crises, trust breakdowns and harmful psychosocial outcomes –– Bjorn Kleizen & Wouter Van Dooren, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • Politicisation as a trigger for change in legislation: the case of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) –– Elena Escalante Block, Universiteit Antwerpen & Claudio Matera, Universiteit Twente
  • Trust-building Mechanisms in New Judicial Actors – A Case Study of the Unified Patent Court –– Esther Van Zimmeren, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • How multilevel governance structures and crisis mitigating measures impact political trust: a systematic literature review –– Jakob Frateur, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • Knowing how it’s known: societal intelligence in crisis governance –– Chiara Russo, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • How does the reputation of regulatory agencies affect citizens’ trust in the regulated companies? A panel study in the food safety sector –– Koen Verhoest, Universiteit Antwerpen, Jan Boon, Hasselt University, Jan Wynen, Universiteit Antwerpen & Steven De Vadder, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • Platform-based mobility and regulatory challenges: Identifying the gaps in the passenger rights protection framework –– Hai Anh Le, Esther van Zimmeren & Wouter Verheyen, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • Conceptualizing the implementation of decisions on environmental conflicts beyond the nation state –– Andreas Corcaci, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

14 Jul 2023 | From 12 to 14 July 2023, the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence hosted the 9th Biennial Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on Regulatory Governance in Antwerp. The Biennial Conference is the leading interdisciplinary conference on regulation and regulatory governance in Europe, attracting researchers from all over the globe working in a wide range of disciplines. This year's conference theme was: "Regulatory Governance in Times of Turbulence, Disruptive Technologies and Crises of Trust". Overall, the conference was an astounding success with an excellent group of 200 academics in the field of regulatory governance. Thanks to the unwavering commitment, insightful contributions, and active participation from all participants, we were able to create a stimulating and enriching environment. We are already looking forward to future collaborations and opportunities to reconvene.

12 Jul 2023 | As the H2020 TiGRE project comes to an end, its major findings and their practical implications for policy are presented in the TiGRE Final Video Book. The Video Book comprises 7 chapters with a total of 31 short clips, covering the main findings of the TiGRE project and their practical implications for policy. The videos were recorded during the TiGRE 8th Consortium Meeting on 22 March 2023 at the University of Antwerp (except for the Chapter VI video clips).

12 Jul 2023 | The Horizon Europe-funded LEGITIMULT project, of which GOVTRUST/UAntwerp is a core partner, has published its first deliverables. A total of five literature reviews are a great resource for academics and policy-makers to have an overview of the following topics: legitimate crisis governance; rule of law and democratic participation; non-discrimination; trust; and economic sustainability. The literature review paper on 'Legitimate Crisis Governance and Trust' is authored by the UAntwerp team, including Jakob Frateur, Peter Bursens, Susana Duarte Coroado, and Patricia Popelier.

6 Jul 2023 | We received funding for the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence STRATEGO (EU Erasmus+ funding). Over the next three years, the STRATEGO team can create synergies in education, research and outreach under the theme “Sustainability and Trust in EU Multilevel Governance”. Find out more about the STRATEGO Centre and the team here.

Dat betekent dat we in de komende drie jaren synergiën kunnen creëren op gebied van onderwijs, onderzoek en outreach onder de thema-vlag “Sustainability and Trust in EU Multilevel Governance” (STRATEGO).

1 Jul 2023 | Andreas Corcaci officially joined the GOVTRUST team in July 2023. He kicked off his MSCA postdoctoral fellowship on "ENVIMP - Environmental resolution mechanisms beyond the nation state. A comparative analysis of the implementation of court judgements and managerial agreements". Welcome!

28 Jun 2023 | Koen Verhoest, Bjorn Kleizen and Erasmus Häggblom attended the 2023 Public Management Research Conference (PMRC), taking place 27-30 June 2023 at Utrecht University (Netherlands). Prof. Verhoest and his co-authors presented two papers on how a good reputation of a regulatory agency increases citizens' confidence in regulated companies and how the formal independence of regulatory agencies does or does not lead to more confidence. Both Bjorn Kleizen and Erasmus Häggblom presented papers on trust-related topics.

27 Jun 2023 | Prof. Anthony M. Bertelli (Pennsylvania State University, US and Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI), Spain) and dr. Silvia Cannas (IBEI, Spain) visited the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence and presented their work in a lunch seminar on "Administrative Law as a Network of Principles".

23 Jun 2023 | On June 23rd, dr. Dominika Proszowska was awarded the Prof. Konopacki Best PhD Thesis Award by the Polish Association for European Studies. Her dissertation “How People Trust Their Governments? Trends, Patterns and Determinants of Trust Differentiation in Multilevel Polities” received 1st prize as the best European Studies PhD dissertation defended in years 2021 and 2022. In their assessments, the committee members considered, among others, the novelty of the research, its scientific relevance and excellence. The award ceremony will take place in September 2023 during the 4th European Studies Conference in Cracow, Poland. Read the thesis summary here. Download the online version of the full thesis here. Congratulations on an outstanding achievement, Dominika!

8 Jun 2023 | New article by Bjorn Kleizen, Wouter Van Dooren, Koen Verhoest and Evrim Tan on "Do citizens trust trustworthy artificial intelligence? Experimental evidence on the limits of ethical AI measures in government", published in Government Information Quarterly.

  • Abstract: This study examines the impact of ethical AI information on citizens' trust in and policy support for governmental AI projects. Unlike previous work on direct users of AI, this study focuses on the general public. Two online survey experiments presented participants with information on six types of ethical AI measures: legal compliance, ethics-by-design measures, data-gathering limitations, human-in-the-loop, non-discrimination, and technical robustness. Results reveal that general ethical AI information has little to no effect on trust, perceived trustworthiness or policy support among citizens. Prior attitudes and experiences, including privacy concerns, trust in government, and trust in AI, instead form good predictors. These findings suggest that short-term communication efforts on ethical AI practices have minimal impact. The findings suggest that a more long-term, comprehensive approach is necessary to building trust in governmental AI projects, addressing citizens' underlying concerns and experiences. As governments' use of AI becomes more ubiquitous, understanding citizen responses is crucial for fostering trust, perceived trustworthiness and policy support for AI-based policies and initiatives.

2 Jun 2023 | Dominika Proszowska, together with co-authors Giedo Jansen and Bas Denters, received an honourable mention from Acta Politica for their paper "On their own turf? The level-specificity of political trust in multilevel political systems". Acta Politica awards a yearly prize to recognise the best contribution published in the journal. A jury consisting of the two editors-in-chief and five members of the journal's advisory board met in May to deliberate and make a final decision on the winners, who have just been announced in the context of the Politicologenetmaal Conference in Leuven. Congratulations!

  • Abstract: Although the debate on roots of political trust is ongoing, many scholars agree on the relevance of such political factors as political/ideological distance between citizens and incumbents, political responsiveness and perceptions of performance. Less clear is to what extent such trust evaluations are generalized or specific for the three main political arenas in the European multilevel governance system (EU, national, local). With new data from the Netherlands, we demonstrate that trust in local, national and EU governments (1) is largely level-specific (i.e. is based on citizens’ perceptions of incumbents at a particular governance level) (2) and—at all three levels—is explained by level-specific political factors. This shows that political trust is a subjectively rational evaluation and that citizens develop meaningful political orientations vis-à-vis governments at different levels. Therefore, trust spillovers may be less relevant for explaining political trust in multilevel governance than assumed in previous research as executive governments at local, national and EU levels are judged “on their own turf”.

30 May 2023 | Koen Verhoest and Peter Bursens will again be involved in the second edition of the Public Governance and Leadership development programme (GoLD) of the Belgian federal government. GoLD is a development programme of the FPS Policy & Support (BOSA) and aims to prepare civil servants for the public leadership and governance of tomorrow. GoLD is a 20-day training for 20 participants who follow an intensive 10-month program on governance and public leadership. It offers a varied programme, focusing on both an academic perspective and a practical focus. The first edition of the development programme ended a few weeks ago and we can already look forward to the second edition. UAntwerp's Politics & Public Governance research group (Koen Verhoest and Peter Bursens) is a partner in an interuniversity team that developed the GoLD programme, together with KU Leuven Public Governance Institute, ULB Institut Européen de Management Public, Ghent University, UCLouvain Institut de Sciences Politiques Louvain-Europe, and Université de Liège (Spiral) and supported by FPS Policy and Support.

24 May 2023 | Wouter Van Dooren on the Flemish government's consultancy assignments in Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch).

24 May 2023 | Koen Verhoest was nominated as member of the Advisory Group for the OECD's evaluation of Belgium's COVID-19 policy. At the federal government's request, there will be an independent audit of Belgium's crisis management during the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke and Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden have called in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to carry out an independent evaluation of the COVID-19 policy in Belgium. With this evaluation comes a thorough analysis of Belgian policy in the areas of risk prevention, crisis management, health, education, economic and fiscal affairs, labour market and social affairs. In order to gather insights from the academic and evaluation community, the OECD has proposed establishing an Advisory Group to provide advisory feedback at key points in the evaluation process. All members of the Advisory Group will be asked to participate in meetings and provide input and comments to the OECD at various key points in the evaluation process.

22 May 2023 | Bernardo Rangoni is excited to announce his new book, titled "Experimentalist Governance: From Architectures to Outcomes", to be published in Oxford University Press. The book is scheduled to be actually published on 31 July 2023, but can already be pre-ordered.

  • Description: What does non-hierarchical governance mean? Under what conditions are actors more likely to engage in non-hierarchical processes? Which trajectories best capture their long-term evolution? Through which mechanisms do they overcome gridlock?
    To respond to these questions at the heart of regulatory governance, the book develops an analytical framework that draws on contemporary debates but seeks to overcome their limitations. Notably, it offers a definition of non-hierarchical (experimentalist) governance that goes beyond institutional structures, giving due attention to actors' choices and strategies. It shows that contrary to expectations, functional and political pressures were more influential than distributions of legal power, and bolstered one another. Strong functional demands and political opposition affect actors' de facto capacity of using powers that, de jure, might be in their own hands. Indeed, actors can use non-hierarchical governance to aid learning as well as the creation of political support. Conversely, they may override legal constraints and impose their views on others, if they are equipped with confidence and powerful reform coalitions beforehand. The book also challenges conservative views that non-hierarchical governance is doomed to wither away, showing that, on the contrary, it is often self-reinforcing. Finally, the book shows that far from being mutually exclusive, positive (shadow of hierarchy) and negative (penalty default) mechanisms typically combine to avoid gridlock.
    The book examines when, how, and why non-hierarchical institutions affect policy processes and outcomes by analysing five crucial domains (electricity, gas, communications, finance, and pharmaceuticals) in the European Union. It combines temporal, cross-sectoral, and within-case comparisons with process-tracing to show the conditions, trajectories, and mechanisms of non-hierarchical governance.

17 May 2023 | Ria Janvier regularly provides expertise on pension-related topics in the media.

12 May 2023 | The partners in the LEGITIMULT project consortium gathered in Bergen for a 2-day meeting to exchange views and discuss the developments of the project. Each partner presented their WP and engaged in constructive and rich discussions to prepare for the next steps in the research. 

The consortium partners are:

  • Eurac Research, Italy (coordinator)
  • University of Bergen, Norway
  • Leiden University, the Nederlands
  • Institute for Ethnic Studies (IES / Inštitut za narodnostna vprašanja – INV), Slovenia
  • University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • National Distance Education University (UNED), Spain
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
  • University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • International IDEA, Sweden
  • University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • The Forum of Federations, Canada

21 April 2023 | Karolien Poels on vaccine confidence among children in Het Kwartier, podcast VRTNWS (in Dutch).

20 Apr 2023 | New book chapter on "Investing in Sustainable Development Goals: Opportunities for Private and Public Institutions to Solve Wicked Problems that Characterize a VUCA World", authored by Olivier Sempiga and Luc Van Liedekerke in the edited volume 'Investment Strategies - New Advances and Challenges'.

  • Abstract: We live in a world full of global challenges, such as global warming, the COVID-19 pandemic, and only recently the Russia-Ukraine crisis, all of which confirm that we live in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world. Most of these challenges are considered to be wicked problems. For many decades, wicked problems have been viewed as difficult, even impossible to solve. This chapter examines how institutions can navigate the VUCA world through investing in SDG so as to solve wicked problems. The chapter argues that adopting socially responsible investment as a strategy allows both private and public organizations to improve economic, social, and environmental performance; and is a fine way of investing in SDG, which could be a long-term solution to wicked problems. Using a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), the chapter examines the relationship between SDG investment and climate change solutions at the local level. Results show a significant effect of investment in SDGs on a solution to wicked problems like climate change. The chapter concludes that the difficulty or impossibility of solving global challenges is likely to be caused by a lack of investment in the SDGs.

17 Apr 2023 | New article by Bernardo Rangoni on The Experimentalist Future of Regulation: Digital and Pharmaceutical Regulation in the European Union in Rivista Italiana di Politiche Pubbliche (in Italian).

  • Abstract: For decades, strategies granting discretion to ‘lower-level actors’ to propose solutions themselves had become preferred to conventional command and control – the hierarchical imposition and enforcement of stable rules. Yet after the 2008 financial crisis, also these alternatives (e.g., principles-based regulation) are under pressure. Which strategy prevails today, and why? By comparing two crucial yet different cases, the article finds that, in both EU digital and pharmaceutical regulation, the dominant strategy is experimentalist. This emphasises not only discretion but also regular revisions based on review of implementation experience. It is driven by uncertainty about the best solutions, as perceived by the relevant actors. Since uncertainty pervades most contemporary policy challenges, the future of regulation and public policy more broadly is thus likely to be experimentalist.

28 Mar 2023 | Ria Janvier on the independence and neutrality of civil servants and their statutory employment in the Flemish government in VRT NWS and Het Laatste Nieuws (in Dutch).

24 Mar 2023 | Esther van Zimmeren talks about the connection between trust and the legal profession in an interview for the TrustTalk podcast. Listen to the interview on the TrustTalk podcast platform or on any of your favorite podcast platforms.​

23 Mar 2023 | TiGRE 2nd Stakeholder Forum meeting & "TiGRE White Paper" workshop (​Hybrid event: Brussels and online). On 23 March 2023, the TiGRE project organised its second Stakeholder Forum meeting in order to present the key research findings from our studies of trust relationships in governance. The meeting included three panel sessions, which gave insights into specificities and evidence gathered for each sector under scrutiny in TiGRE: Food Safety, Finance and Data Protection. The panel sessions gathered various practitioners and stakeholders whose inputs and feedback were collected during lively round tables.
The Stakeholder Forum meeting was followed by a two-hours public workshop entitled "TiGRE White Paper". During the workshop, participants had the opportunity to discuss and reflect upon the innovative policy design and tools developed within the TiGRE project, i.e. criteria, indicators and early warning mechanisms for detecting weak signals of decreasing trust, as well as scenarios on consequences of decreasing trust. In addition, to networking opportunities within TiGRE consortium and with other attendees, the stakeholders' inputs were valuable for refining the TiGRE White Paper which will integrate the research findings and be published in the second half of 2023.
The presentation slides are now available for download:

22 Mar 2023 | The TiGRE consortium had its 8th Consortium Meeting on 22 March 2023, hosted by GOVTRUST at the University of Antwerp! In addition to planning the final steps over the last six months in TiGRE, the consortium partners discussed how to integrate the key project results in scientific publications, policy briefs, white paper etc. in order to maximise outreach and impact of research on trust. In line with this strategy, most of the participants contributed to the video shooting which ran parallel to the scientific meeting. A set of short videos will be produced presenting the key results of the project, main challenges, use for practitioners and other stakeholders, next steps after TiGRE etc. Videos will be released soon: stay tuned!

18 Mar 2023 | Karolien Poels on 'boredom' and reaching for the smartphone in De Standaard (in Dutch).

17 Mar 2023 | Ria Janvier about the maximum pensions in Belgium in Het Laatste Nieuws (in Dutch).

15 Mar 2023 | Peter Bursens on Flanders and Europe in Knack (in Dutch).

7 Mar 2023 | Patricia Popelier critically reflects on the legislative proposal to overrule the activist judge in a column in Jubel (in Dutch).

3 Mar 2023 | Ria Janvier on maximum pensions in Belgium in Het Laatste Nieuws and Het Belang van Limburg (in Dutch).

1 Mar 2023 | Karolien Poels about smiling on the catwalk in De Standaard (in Dutch).

28 Feb 2023 | Patricia Popelier on N-VA's proposal for parliament to overrule the Constitutional Court in De Standaard (in Dutch).

14 Feb 2023 | Koen Verhoest will participate as an international expert in the Advisory Group on methodology and implementation of the OECD Trust Survey.  

1 Feb 2023 | New article by Chesney Callens and Koen Verhoest on "Unlocking the process of collaborative innovation - Combining mechanisms of divergence and convergence" in Public Management Review.

  • Abstract: In recent years, collaborative innovation of public services has become a growing research field. However, how collaborative arrangements lead to innovation remains quite unclear. We propose that collaborative innovation is dependent on processes of divergence and convergence, which are enhanced by four conditions of collaborative innovation: diversity of ideas and perspectives, learning through interaction, consensus building, and implementation commitment. The combination of these conditions is explored through qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) in 19 European eHealth partnerships. The results suggest a combined effect of these conditions on service innovativeness, which rejects contemporary views on the dichotomous nature of divergence and convergence.

1 Feb 2023 | The GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence is proud to host the 2023 Biennial Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on Regulatory Governance in Antwerp on 12-14 July 2023. Check out the call for panels and papers and submit your proposal by March 15th, 2023 via the event webpage:

30 Jan 2023 | Patricia Popelier discusses the implementation of 'extra-legal' state reforms in VRT News' "Terzake" and Radio 1's "De Ochtend" (in Dutch).

30 Jan 2023 | Ria Janvier talks about the payment of pensions in a radio interview with VRT Radio 1's "De Wereld Vandaag" (in Dutch).

26 Jan 2023 | Bas Redert and Rik Joosen received funding for a BOF Small Project on "The EU Principal Agent Authority (EUPAA) dataset". Congrats!

26 Jan 2023 | Bjorn Kleizen received funding for a BOF Small Project on "Time to give up? Establishing a survey panel on how accumulations of interactions with government affect psychosocial well-being and citizen decisions to give up during procedures". Congrats!

20 Jan 2023 | New paper by Bernardo Rangoni and Mark Thatcher on "Re-Politicising Merger Policy: Regulating Foreign Takeovers in Britain and Italy" in the EIQ Discussion Paper Series at LSE.

  • Abstract: While much attention has been given to ‘de-politicisation’, its reversal through ‘re-politicisation’ is also possible. We examine ‘institutional re-politicisation’ - increases in the formal powers and discretion of elected politicians’ - in hard cases - policies for regulating Cross-Border Mergers and Acquisitions (CBMAs), focusing specifically on Britain and Italy. While existing explanations of increased powers and discretion for elected politicians to block or shape overseas takeovers focus on economic vulnerabilities created by the Covid pandemic and security concerns vis-à-vis China, using process tracing and comparison we show that, in both countries, the change of tide towards re-politicisation actually begun earlier. We find that it followed specificCBMAs in sectors such as chocolate and dairy products that were contested by political parties from the Right and Left and producer interests, who shared arguments about defending national culture and heritage. The cases suggest there is considerable scope for re-politicisation thanks to a wide coalition that shares arguments based on defending national identity.

3 Jan 2023 | Bernardo Rangoni officially joined the GOVTRUST team in December 2022. He kicked off his MSCA postdoctoral fellowship on "REGTRUST - How Nature of Regulation and Levels of Trust Affect Each Other Over Time: The Case of Financial Regulation in the EU". In line with this project, he recently published two articles in Governance:

3 Jan 2023 | New book chapter by Stéphanie De Somer and Jasper Van Steenbergen on "Can any civil servant be required to 'be Switzerland'? An analysis based on fundamental rights and freedoms" (publication in Dutch: Kan elke ambtenaar worden verplicht om 'Zwitserland te zijn'? Een analyse vanuit de fundamentele rechten en vrijheden). The chapter is part of the book "Reflections on laicity", edited by Pierre Nihoul, Bernadette Renauld and Jan Theunis.

  • Abstract: This chapter approaches the neutrality of public servants from the point of view of civil and political rights. The authors highlight some recent developments in European and national case law from the point of view of the right not to be discriminated against and freedom of religion. However, special attention is paid to a fundamental right that has hitherto received less attention in this context: freedom of expression. The duty of discretion and the duty of loyalty that rest on civil servants mean a certain limitation of that fundamental right. In their contribution, the authors examine what the judiciary can teach us about this difficult balancing act.

2 Jan 2023 | Season's Greetings - From all of us at GOVTRUST, we send our warmest wishes for a happy holiday season. May your new year be filled with joy, success and trust! To stay up to date with the latest GOVTRUST news in 2023, you can check out this webpage, follow the GOVTRUST LinkedIn page or subscribe to the GOVTRUST Newsletter.

2022 GOVTRUST News

17 Nov 2022 | Koen Verhoest participated as an expert in the OECD Global Forum in Luxembourg on 17 November 2022 on the theme of “Building Trust and Reinforcing Democracy”. The Global Forum event was built on the existing OECD Reinforcing Democracy Initiative, and was underpinned by the results from the first OECD Survey on the Drivers of Trust in Public Institutions. The event was an opportunity for a strategic exchange amongst Ministers from OECD Member and non-Member countries, international organisations, civil society and the private sector, to chart the way forward for addressing key public governance challenges in order to build trust and strengthen democracy. The day-long event concluded with a Global High-Level Dialogue on Reinforcing Democracy and discussions to inform the OECD Public Governance Ministerial on “Building Trust and Reinforcing Democracy” taking place on 18 November.

16 Nov 2022 | Prof. Kathryn Wright (York Law School, UK) visited the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence and presented her work in a lunch seminar on "Trust between regulators".

25 Oct 2022 | New article "Internal and external exploration for public service innovation – Measuring the impact of a climate for creativity and collaborative diversity on innovation" by Chesney Callens, Jan Wynen, Jan Boon and Koen Verhoest in Public Policy and Administration.

  • Abstract: Public service innovation involves a process of creative exploration of new ideas, knowledge and perspectives. The article poses that creative exploration emerges from the combination of a climate for creativity that is active inside the organization, and collaborations with diverse actors that are present outside the organization. We test the effect of these conditions on innovation using data from the Australian Public Service. Our findings demonstrate that both a climate for creativity and collaborative diversity are positively related to innovation, yet a tipping point exists at which the positive effects of collaborative diversity on innovation turn negative.

22 Oct 2022 | Karolien Poels on our smartphone usage and the emotional effects of digital media in De Standaard (in Dutch).

17 Oct 2022 | The kick-off meeting for the Horizon Europe LEGITIMULT project on 'Legitimate Crisis Governance in Multilevel Systems' took place on 17-18 October 2022 at Eurac Research in Bolzano, Italy. UAntwerp/GOVTRUST is a partner in the project, with participation of Patricia Popelier, Peter Bursens and Maja Sahadzic. With the kick-off meeting, the project has now officially been launched.

14 Oct 2022 | Koen Verhoest and Esther van Zimmeren participated in a CoCoT Conversation on "Trust as a constitutional pre-condition for good regulation and enforcement" at the Utrecht Centre for Regulation and Enforcement in Europe (Utrecht University). 

6 Oct 2022 | The kick-off meeting for the Horizon Europe ROBUST project on 'Robust Crisis Governance in Turbulent Times' took place on 6-7 October 2022 at Roskilde University, Denmark. UAntwerp/GOVTRUST is a core partner in the project, with participation of Koen Verhoest and Wouter Van Dooren. With the kick-off meeting, the project has now officially been launched.

23 Sep 2022 | The CONTRA project was kicked off with four days of creative brainstorming at the University of Tilburg. CONTRA aims to get a better understanding of productive conflict in urban transformations. The kick-off included experimentation with various theatrical techniques as a way to prepare for the launch of the Drama Labs. In addition, there were fruitful online meetings with the city partners of Gdynia, Genk and Drammen. 

14 Sep 2022 | Koen Verhoest participated in the meeting of the Advisory Group on the OECD trust survey. The Advisory Group meeting discussed results of the inaugural 2021 Trust Survey and next steps, ways to leverage the results for policy-oriented analysis, methodological choices to continuously improve the survey’s quality and the 2024 OECD Trust Survey.

9 Sep 2022 | Koen Verhoest co-chaired a panel session about "TiGRE: Trust in Governance and Regulation in Europe" which was held as part of the 2022 EGPA Conference on 06-09 September 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal.

2 Sep 2022 | We can look back on a successful first edition of the GOVTRUST Summer School on 'A Multi-Level Perspective on Trust and Public Governance', which took place 29 August to 2 September 2022 in Antwerp. 24 participants from various parts of the world joined us to gain a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics, causes and effects of trust in and between societal actors in multi-level public governance. Through a combination of (guest) lectures, discussions and workshops, participants were stimulated to think across disciplinary boundaries, interact with each other and engage with speakers. 

We kicked off the GOVTRUST Summer School with a keynote by Monica Brezzi from the OECD Directorate for Public Governance. In her keynote address, she talked about the OECD's work on trust in public institutions, including the updated OECD framework on drivers of trust in public institutions and the results from the recent OECD Trust Survey.

The GOVTRUST Summer School also brought us to the FASFC (Federal Food Safety Agency) in Brussels. Based on recent results from the EU TiGRE project, participants reflected on the importance of trust in the regulatory system of the food safety sector. We thank the FASFC hosts and stakeholders for their time and gracious hospitality.

28 Jul 2022 | Koen Verhoest and Wouter Van Dooren are partners in the new BELSPO BRAIN project BeCoDigital on "Digital Co-Creation of Public Services with Citizens: Understanding Pre-Conditions, Technologies and Outcomes".

19 Jul 2022 | Public Administration research at the University of Antwerp is ranked 22nd (1st in Belgium) on the Global Shanghai Ranking for PA 2022.

4 Jul 2022 | The first team meeting of the new Public Governance and Leadership Programme of the Belgian Federal Government discussed the content and the coherence of the programme (see photo below). UAntwerp's Politics & Public Governance research group is a partner in an interuniversity team together with KU Leuven Public Governance Institute, ULB Institut Européen de Management Public, Ghent University, UCLouvain Institut de Sciences Politiques Louvain-Europe, and Université de Liège (Spiral) and supported by FPS Policy and Support.

2 Jul 2022 | New article on "User involvement as a catalyst for collaborative public service innovation" by Chesney Callens in Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. 

  • Abstract: Although scholars recognize that involving service users in public-private collaborations is beneficial for innovating public services, much is still unknown about the specific conditions under which these benefits arise. This article identifies three important enablers for innovation through user involvement: 1) the empowerment of users, 2) the presence of specialized knowledge of the users, and 3) the absence of hindering rules and procedures. These three conditions are tested through fsQCA on a rich data set from 132 interviews and 124 surveys from 19 cases in five European countries, and the results indicate that the combined effect of these conditions on innovation is contingent on the roles of the users in different types of user-oriented innovation processes. We identify three user roles: user-innovators, codesigners, and advisors.

23 Jun 2022 | Call for abstracts from the NIG Annual Work Conference 2022. Dominika Proszowska (GOVTRUST & PPG) and Lisa van Dijk (KU Leuven) are chairing a panel on "Trust, Legitimacy and EU Multilevel Governance". Deadline for submission is July 1st.

22 Jun 2022 | Bernardo Rangoni received funding for his MSCA postdoctoral fellowship project called REGTRUST 'How Nature of Regulation and Levels of Trust Affect Each Other Over Time: The Case of Financial Regulation in the EU' (2022-2024). Bernardo will join GOVTRUST and the Politics & Public Governance research group as of December 2022.

11 Jun 2022 | On 9-11 June 2022, Koen Verhoest participated in the Transatlantic Dialogue (TAD), hosted by Roskilde University. The theme of TAD16 was "Strategic Management of Public Sector Transformation in Turbulent Times: Enhancing Collaborative Governance and Co-creation of Public Value". Koen Verhoest, together with Jodi Sandfort, chaired a workshop on "Public innovation through public-private collaboration: governance, structure, processes and trust".

10 Jun 2022 | GOVTRUST members are involved in two new Horizon Europe projects. Patricia Popelier and Peter Bursens are partners in the LEGITIMULT project on 'Legitimate Crisis Management and Multi-level Governance'. Koen Verhoest and Wouter Van Dooren are partners in the ROBUST project on 'Robust Crisis Governance in Turbulent Times: Mindset, Evidence, Strategies'. Both projects were submitted under the same Horizon Europe call (Politics and governance in a post-pandemic world), but prove to be very complementary, allowing for interesting synergies. Both projects are getting ready to be launched on October 1st, 2022. These projects allow the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence, together with the research groups Politics & Public Governance and Government & Law, to hire 3 new researchers (1 postdoc, 2 PhD) to join the project teams.

8 Jun 2022 | The members of the TiGRE project were happy to meet each other for our sixth consortium meeting in Utrecht (see photo below). The consortium meeting was followed by the TiGRE Young Scholars' Workshop, with several roundtables on publication strategies and career development.

3 Jun 2022 | New book titled "The Politics of Legitimation in the European Union: Legitimacy Recovered?" edited by Christopher Lord, Peter Bursens, Dirk De Bièvre, Jarle Tronda and Ramses A. Wessel. Also with contributions from Bastiaan Redert, Dominika Proszowska and Elena Escalante Block.

31 May 2022 | Two GOVTRUST-supported researchers received funding for their FWO junior postdoctoral fellowship projects. Rik Joosen will conduct research on 'Using stakeholders strategically to gain authority over principals in the EU'. Bjorn Kleizen will conduct research on 'How the accumulation of administrative encounters can erode trust in government and create psychological harm'. Congrats to Rik and Bjorn!

30 May 2022 | Wouter Van Dooren on civil servants striking as a result of lack of political choices in De Tijd (in Dutch).

19 May 2022 | New article on "Slow adapters or active players? Belgian regional parliamentarians and European affairs after Lisbon" by François Randour, Peter Bursens and Thomas Laloux in the Journal of Legislative Studies. 

4 May 2022 | During a team meeting of the GOVTRUST consortium, we looked back on the activities of 2021 and the state of affairs in regards to our goals. We also discussed some challenges that remain and some concrete ideas/initiatives that are in the pipeline. After the meeting, we enjoyed a nice dinner (see photo below).

2 May 2022 | Wouter Van Dooren's opinion on Oosterweel, the new highway infrastructure in Antwerp, in Knack (in Dutch).

26 Apr 2022 | New article on "A research agenda for trust and distrust in a multilevel judicial system" by Patricia Popelier, Monika Glavina, Federica Baldan and Esther van Zimmeren in Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law.

25 Apr 2022 | Bjorn Kleizen, Wouter Van Dooren and Koen Verhoest wrote a chapter "Trustworthiness in an era of data analytics: what are governments dealing with and how is civil society responding?" in the newly published book The new digital era governance. How new digital technologies are shaping public governance edited by Evrim Tan and Joep Crompvoets.

17 Mar 2022 | Cathering Van de Heyning on Russia and the European Court of Human Rights in an opinion piece in De Standaard (in Dutch).

10 Mar 2022 | Wouter Van Dooren on the commotion around childcare and the relation between politics and administration in a radio interview with VRT Radio 1's "De Wereld Vandaag" (in Dutch).

8 Mar 2022 | Interview with Catherine Van de Heyning on International Women's Day and the Antwerp public prosecutor's office for Radio 2 Antwerp (in Dutch).

28 Feb 2022 | Heidi Vandebosch on cyberbullying in Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch).

22 Feb 2022 | Karolien Poels on the new social media app BeReal in De Morgen (in Dutch).

21 Feb 2022 | New article on "Taking a COVID-19 Vaccine or Not? Do Trust in Government and Trust in Experts Help us to Understand Vaccination Intention?" by Jan Wynen, Sophie Op de Beeck, Koen Verhoest, Monika Glavina, Frédérique Six, Pierre Van Damme, Phillipe Beutels, Greet Hendrickx and Koen Pepermans in Administration & Society.

17 Feb 2022 | Heidi Vandebosch on the 'labour deal' and digital deconnection in De Standaard (in Dutch).

11 Feb 2022 | Karolien Poels on the new social medium BeReal in Gazet van Antwerpen (in Dutch).

11 Feb 2022 | Catherine Van de Heyning and Michel Walrave reflect on image-based sexual violence in De Standaard (in Dutch), based on their findings from the @ntidote project.

2 Feb 2022 | Catherine Van de Heyning on the increasingly growing phenomenon of cyberbullying in a radio interview with VRT Radio 1's "De Wereld van Sofie" (in Dutch).

31 Jan 2022 | Wouter Van Dooren coordinates the UAntwerp involvement in the new JPI Urban Europe project on 'Conflict in Transformations' (CONTRA). Esther van Zimmeren is one of the co-promoters.

17 Jan 2022 | Announcing the GOVTRUST Annual Symposium 2022 on "Trust and the Governance of Technology", taking place on Thursday 17 February 2022, 14:00 - 17:00 CET. Find out more and register.

14 Jan 2022 | New article on "Reasons for Nonuse, Discontinuation of Use, and Acceptance of Additional Functionalities of a COVID-19 Contact Tracing App" by Michel Walrave, Cato Waeterloos and Koen Ponnet in JMIR Public Health and Surveillance.

2021 GOVTRUST News

14 Dec 2021 | Koen Verhoest presented his work on ‘The Government as Regulator: The Importance of Trust in and within Government’ (in Dutch) in the webinar series of the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute.​

13 Dec 2021 | Stéphanie De Somer on the 'softening' of gardens in De Standaard (in Dutch).

10 Dec 2021 | Patricia Popelier on the summons of Bart Tommelein and Lydia Peeters in De Tijd (in Dutch).

6 Dec 2021 | Karolien Poels on how to communicate at the Christmas table in De Morgen (in Dutch).

3 Dec 2021 | Heidi Vandebosch on cyberbullying in De Standaard (in Dutch).

24 Nov 2021 | New article on "Seizing the moment: Regional opportunity structures and Wallonia’s temporary veto of the EU–Canada bilateral trade agreement" by Peter Bursens and Dirk De Bièvre in Regional & Federal Studies.

24 Nov 2021 | Patricia Popelier on the appeals to the Council of State regarding the corona measures in Knack (in Dutch).

22 Nov 2021 | Karolien Poels on the participants in the corona demonstration on Terzake (Canvas): "What brings them together is distrust" (in Dutch).

15 Nov 2021 | Peter Bursens, Patricia Popelier and Petra Meier wrote a chapter on "Belgium’s response to COVID-19: How to manage a pandemic in a competitive federal system?" in the book Federalism and the Response to COVID-19 edited by Rupak Chattopadhyay et al.

6 Nov 2021 | Karolien Poels on the text message as the marketing tool of the future in De Morgen (in Dutch).

5 Nov 2021 | Michel Walrave on scammers on Facebook in Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch).

31 Oct 2021 | New article on "The revolving door in Brussels: a process-oriented approach to employee recruitment by interest organisations" by Sharon Belli and Peter Bursens in Journal of European Public Policy.​

27 Oct 2021 | Patricia Popelier and Peter Bursens wrote a chapter on "Managing the Covid-19 crisis in a divided Belgian Federation: Cooperation against all odds" in the book Comparative Federalism and Covid-19. Combating the Pandemic edited By Nico Steytler.​

25 Oct 2021 | Prof. Dominika Latusek-Jurczak (Department of Management & Center for Trust Research, Kozminski University, Poland) visited the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence and presented her work in a lunch seminar on "Trust and Distrust in Institutions".

8 Oct 2021 | New report "BRIDGE Network Country Report: Belgium" by Frederik Stevens and Peter Bursens. BRIDGE (Brexit Research and Interchange on Differentiated Governance in Europe) is a three-year (2019-2022) Jean Monnet Network funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme.

8 Oct 2021 | Prof. Tobias Bach (Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, Norway) visited the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence and presented his work in a lunch seminar on "Citizen’s Trust in Bureaucracies".

8 Oct 2021 | New article on "Is Euroscepticism Contagious? How Mainstream Parties React to Eurosceptic Challengers in Belgian Parliaments" by Jordy Weyns and Peter Bursens in Politics of the Low Countries.​

7 Oct 2021 | New article on "What drives compliance with COVID-19 measures over time? Explaining changing impacts with Goal Framing Theory" by Frédérique Six, Steven de Vadder, Monika Glavina, Koen Verhoest and Koen Pepermans in Regulation & Governance.​

23 Sep 2021 | Karolien Poels on the willingness to get vaccinated in Brussels in Gazet van Antwerpen (in Dutch).​

15 Sep 2021 | New article on "Inferential Analysis of Road Infrastructure PPP Sponsor Networks" by John Salazar, Jose Guevara and Koen Verhoest in Journal of Management in Engineering.​

14 Sep 2021 | Karolien Poels answers questions from viewers about vaccination on VRTNWS' Facebook Live - watch the Q&A (in Dutch)

13 Sep 2021 | Wouter Van Dooren on a dredging war on the Schelde in Gazet van Antwerpen (in Dutch).​

6 Sep 2021 | Prof. Joe Hamm and Prof. Caitlin Cavanagh (School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University, United States) visited the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence and presented their work in a lunch seminar on "Trust, Vulnerability and the Justice System".

6 Sep 2021 | Karolien Poels on the arguments of non-vaccinated citizens in Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Read more

18 Aug 2021 | New article on "Bullying and Harassment as a Consequence of Workplace Change in the Australian Civil Service" by Bjorn Kleizen, Jan Wynen, Jan Boon and Jolijn de Roover in Review of Public Personnel Administration. Read more

10 Aug 2021 | New article on "Fatal remedies. How dealing with policy conflict can backfire in a context of trust-erosion" by Eva Wolf and Wouter Van Dooren in Governance. Read more

2 Aug 2021 | New project “Towards a renewed control and performance assessment of the housing sector” (2021) was approved and funded by Flemish Minister for Finance and Budget, Housing and Immovable Heritage. The project is promoted by Wouter Van Dooren (in collaboration with Koen Verhoest, Sien Winters and DiederikVermeir), as part of the Policy Research Centre Housing.

2 Aug 2021 | New blog post by Frédérique Six on "How do organizing principles affect how citizens experience government trust or distrust?". Read more

28 Jul 2021 | Karolien Poels on the importance of the right information in order to convince vaccine doubters to get vaccinated on VRT NWS Coronablog (in Dutch). Read more

26 Jul 2021 | Patricia Popelier on the (interdisciplinary) work of the research group Government & Law in an extensive podcast interview by Doorbraak Radio (in Dutch). Listen here

16 Jul 2021 | New article on "Representation in Demoicracies. Contributions from Belgian Federalism for the Conference on the Future of Europe" by Peter Bursens and Petra Meier published in European Law Journal. Read more

16 Jun 2021 | Karolien Poels on getting vaccinated in De Standaard (in Dutch). Read more

15 Jun 2021 | New article on 'Health Crisis Measures and Standards for Fair Decision-Making: A Normative and Empirical-Based Account of the Interplay Between Science, Politics and Courts' by Patricia Popelier et al. published in European Journal of Risk Regulation. Read more

31 May 2021 | The @ntidote project focuses on the use of social media as a platform of content that may constitute cyberviolence. The project published a state of the art presenting the main research questions in the field. Download here

27 May 2021 | New project InnoFINS on 'Implementing innovative financing for nature-based solutions in Flemish cities' was funded by FWO-SBO (2021-2025). The project is led by the University of Antwerp's Urban Studies Institute (promotor: Tom Coppens) and co-promoted by Wouter Van Dooren.

26 May 2021 | Public Administration research at University of Antwerp ranked 20th (1st in Belgium) on Global Shanghai Ranking for PA 2021.

1 May 2021 | Check out the personal website of Frédérique Six, which holds various blog posts on trust, governance, control and integrity (only in Dutch). The most recent blog post is titled "From distrust to trust: citizens back in the picture". Read more

30 Apr 2021 | Patricia Popelier on the design of the pandemic law in De Tijd (in Dutch). Read more

29 Apr 2021 | Esther van Zimmeren on the revocation of vaccine patents in a radio interview with VRT Radio 1's "De Wereld Vandaag" (in Dutch). Listen here

29 Apr 2021 | Peter Bursens, Petra Meier and Patricia Populier presented their paper on "When Dual Federalism Meets External Crises" at the UACES-JMCT Workshop on Conceptualising Crisis in Territotrial Politcs (online).

27 Apr 2021 | Karolien Poels on the vaccination delay in Brussels in De Morgen (in Dutch). Read more

26 Apr 2021 | Patricia Popelier on the coronavirus crisis and the federal state structure in Belgium in De Standaard (in Dutch). Read more

26 Apr 2021 | Patricia Popelier delivers a perspective on a potential new state reform in an opinion piece in De Standaard (in Dutch). Read more

15 Apr 2021 | New article on "Trust and Vaccine Hesitancy in Flanders: The influence of trust in government and in experts on the intention to get vaccinated against COVID-19" by Jan Wynen et al. published in VTOM - Vlaams Tijdschrift voor Overheidsmanagement (in Dutch). Read more

15 Apr 2021 | Patricia Popelier on the new pandemic law in De Standaard (in Dutch). Read more

14 Apr 2021 | Karolien Poels on the vaccination intention in Brussels and Wallonia in De Morgen (in Dutch). Read more

1 Apr 2021 | New book chapter by Petra Meier and Peter Bursens on "Belgium: The Democratic State of the Federation". Read more

23 Mar 2021 | Koen Verhoest deliverd a presentation on intersectoral collaboration (based on PSI-CO and TROPICO projects) as invited speaker at the International Smart City Symposium, organised by CityLAB Berlin, Hertie School of Governance.

16 Mar 2021 | The first policy brief of the EU H2020 TiGRE project on "Assessing social and political trust: a systematic review" has been published. Download here

15 Mar 2021 | Karolien Poels on the influence of the news media on vaccine trust in Knack (in Dutch). Read more

12 Mar 2021 | New project "@ntidote – Cyberviolence: defining borders on permissibility and accountability", coordinated by Michel Walrave. Read more

11 Mar 2021 | New article by Frédérique Six and colleauges on "Relational leadership in collaborative governance ecosystems" in Public Management Review. Read more

10 Mar 2021 | Frédérique Six on trust and distrust at work in an interview on De Nieuwe Wereld TV (in Dutch). Watch the interview

10 Mar 2021 | Koen Verhoest presented the work on 'How to Collaborate for Innovation'  (based on PSI-CO and TROPICO projects) for senior researchers at Sciensano.

8 Mar 2021 | New book titled "Dynamic Federalism. A New Theory for Cohesion and Regional Autonomy" by Patricia Popelier. Read more

2 Mar 2021 | Video recordings from the TROPICO Online Summit 2020 are now available. Watch the recordings

1 Mar 2021 | Patricia Popelier on the pandemic law and unconstitutionality in De Standaard (in Dutch). Read more

28 Feb 2021 | Patricia Popelier in a debate on the corona measures on ATV (in Dutch). Watch the debate (from 26:30)

24 Feb 2021 | New paper on "Repetitive reform: Doing more harm than good?" by Jan Wynen, Koen Verhoest, Jan Boon, Bjorn Kleizen, Dries Van Doninck, Danika Pieters & Stephanie Verlinden in Esade. Read more

24 Feb 2021 | Koen Verhoest and Emmanuel Dockx presented their work on 'Innovation through Collaboration and Co-creation' in the webinar series organised by the Flemish government's Senior Civil Service (Voorzitterscollege).

24 Feb 2021 | Patricia Popelier on proxies for the corona measures in Knack (in Dutch). Read more

17 Feb 2021 | Patricia Popelier on a pandemic law and the legal basis for the corona measures in Knack (in Dutch). Read more

16 Feb 2021 | Patricia Popelier on the legal basis for the corona measures in De Wereld Vandaag, Radio 1 (in Dutch). Listen here

11 Feb 2021 | New book chapter by Peter Bursens on "Recalibration of executive–legislative relations in the European Union: strategies inspired by the trilemma of democracy, sovereignty and integration". Read more

5 Feb 2021 | Koen Verhoest presented the research on trust in government and compliance with corona measures at UA's Lesson of the Century on "Corona-related Social Science Research" (in Dutch; targeted at 16-18 year old secondary school students). Watch the recording

5 Feb 2021 | Karolien Poels presented her research on addressing concerns on the COVID-19 vaccines through appropriate communication at UA's Lesson of the Century on "Corona-related Social Science Research" (in Dutch; targeted at 16-18 year old secondary school students). Watch the recording 

4 Feb 2021 | Peter Bursens on the power of the member states in the EU in Trends (Knack) (in Dutch). Read more

4 Feb 2021 | Karolien Poels on vaccination hesitancy among youth in De Morgen (in Dutch). Read more

29 Jan 2021 | The GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence held its first (online) Annual Symposium on the theme of "Trust and the COVID-19 Crisis: Regulation and Compliance in Multi-level Governance". Look back at the Symposium with presentations and recording now available.

13 Jan 2021 | Opinion piece by Wouter Van Dooren and Stefaan Walgrave on the vaccination campaign in Belgium in De Morgen (in Dutch). Read more

8 Jan 2021 | Special issue VTOM (Vlaams Tijdschrift voor Overheidsmanagement; 2020-4) on innovation in the public sector. Editorial freely available (in Dutch). Read more

6 Jan 2021 | Patricia Popelier on a pandemic law in De Morgen (in Dutch). Read more

6 Jan 2021 | Patricia Popelier on a pandemic law in De Standaard (in Dutch). Read more

4 Jan 2021 | New report on the reactions of citizens on Covid-19 exit measures (in Dutch). Read more

4 Jan 2021 | TiGRE Webinar series on “Trust & Regulatory Governance in an Age of Crisis” is extended with new sessions. More information and webinar schedule

2020 GOVTRUST News

30 Dec 2020 | New book chapter by Frédérique Six on "Trust-based accountability in education: the role of intrinsic motivation". Read more

27 Dec 2020 | Blog by Michel Walrave and colleagues on the use of and the concerns regarding the Coronalert-app in the UA Coronablog (in Dutch). Read more

27 Dec 2020 | Michel Walrave and colleagues on the untapped potential of the Coronalert-app in Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Read more

17 Dec 2020 | Webinar on "Trust & Rule Compliance" by Frédérique Six and Monika Glavina. Presentation and recording available

17 Dec 2020 | New article by Peter Bursens and Petra Meier on “Belgian federalism 4.0 : EU inspired ways forward”. Read more

14 Dec 2020 | New article by Patricia Popelier on crisis management by ministerial decree (in Dutch). Read more

14 Dec 2020 | Blog by Simone Krouwer, Karolien Poels and Heidi Vandebosch on trust in the COVID-19 vaccines in the UA Coronablog (in Dutch). Read more

9 Dec 2020 | New book chapter by Patricia Popelier on “The Duty of Parliament to Adopt Reliable Legislation: Linking Trust in Parliament with Legitimate Expectations”. Read more

23 Nov 2020 | The University of Antwerp launched its new website, check out the new GOVTRUST website

18 Nov 2020 | Webinar on "Trust & Vaccination" by Koen Verhoest, Sophie Op de Beeck and Monika Glavina. Presentation and recording available

17 Nov 2020 | Frédérique Six on the conditions for success of open norms in regulation in Toezine (in Dutch). Read more

8 Nov 2020 | Discover the story behind the TiGRE project in their new introductory video

5 Nov 2020 | Webinar series on "Trust & Regulatory Governance in an Age of Crisis" organised by the TiGRE project, with GOVTRUST contributions. More information and webinar schedule

4 Nov 2020 | De Standaard reports on citizens' increasing trust in the corona approach (Corona Study; in Dutch). Read more

4 Nov 2020 | De Tijd reports on increasing trust in the federal government (Corona Study; in Dutch). Read more

4 Nov 2020 | Patricia Popelier, Catherine Van De Heyning and colleagues propose to advise government as a legal task force in De Standaard (in Dutch). Read more

2 Nov 2020 | Patricia Popelier, Catherine Van De Heyning and colleagues call for a corona-law to back restrictions in De Standaard (in Dutch). Read more

23 Oct 2020 | New report on collaboration and innovation in the public sector: the determinants of successful cross-sectoral collaborative arrangements (in Dutch).

23 Oct 2020 | New report on collaboration and innovation in the public sector: organizational conditions and capacities underlying public innovations (in Dutch).

22 Oct 2020 | Paper on vaccination intention and trust in government and experts presented at the digital conference 'Political Trust in Crisis'. Read more

21 Oct 2020 | Patricia Popelier on the legality of corona measures in De Standaard (in Dutch). Read more

20 Oct 2020 | Patricia Popelier on a legal framework to support the corona measures in De Standaard (in Dutch). Read more

12 Oct 2020 | Wouter Van Dooren on imposing a late-night curfew in Het Parool (in Dutch). Read more

1 Oct 2020 | Interview given by Peter Bursens on Belgium's new government delays and potential implications in Euronews . Read more

25 Sep 2020 | New article by Patricia Popelier on "COVID-19 legislation in Belgium at the crossroads of a political and a health crisis". Read more

4 Sep 2020 | Paper on trust and rule compliance during the COVID-19 crisis presented at the online EGPA conference. Read more

10 Aug 2020 | Opinion piece by Patricia Popelier and Catherine Van De Heyning on corona measures and fundamental rights (in Dutch). Read more

8 Aug 2020 | New article by Frédérique Six and colleagues on "Governance as legitimacy: are ecosystems replacing networks?" in Public Management Review. Read more

7 Aug 2020 | New blog post by Frédérique Six on "How to develop youth care governance signaling trust?" for the Finnish Itla Children’s Foundation. Read more

15 Jul 2020 | Blog by Jan Boon, Jan Wynen and Koen Verhoest on the audiences that matter to public service organisations' reputation. Read more

29 Jun 2020 | Public Administration research at University of Antwerp ranked 26th (1st in Belgium) on Global Shanghai Ranking for PA 2020.

26 Jun 2020 | Koen Verhoest co-edits thematic issue of Vlaams Tijdschrift voor Overheidsmanagement on network organisation and network leadership (in Dutch). Read more

24 Jun 2020 | Wouter Van Dooren on the relationship between experts and politicians in a radio interview with VRT Radio 1's "De Wereld Vandaag" (in Dutch). Listen to the interview

22 Jun 2020 | Social and Economic Council of Flanders (SERV) refers to GOVTRUST research note on trust and COVID-19 government policies in their report compiling corona figures (in Dutch).

13 Jun 2020 | Charlotte De Backer on the reopening of bars and restaurants and eating together as a sign of trust in De Standaard "Neem de Vlaming nooit zijn bord af" (in Dutch). Read more

9 Jun 2020 | Contribution to the University of Antwerp's Coronablog "Hebben we vertrouwen in het beleid dat de coronacrisis in goede banen tracht te leiden?" (in Dutch). Read more

4 Jun 2020 | Wouter Van Dooren on the coronavirus policy in Het Laatste Nieuws "Van 'niets mag, behalve' naar 'alles mag, behalve' - De nieuwe coronafilosofie van de regering" (in Dutch). Read more

3 Jun 2020 | Updated research note on trust and COVID-19 government policies, covering three waves of the Corona Study. Read more

3 Jun 2020 | Newspaper artcile in NRC "Met het virus verdwijnt de harmonie uit België" (in Dutch). Read more

2 Jun 2020 | New project "Trust, legitimacy and intended compliance with COVID-19 exit strategy measures". Read more

2 Jun 2020 | New project "Digital (R)evolution in Belgian Federal Government" (DIGI4FED). Read more

2 Jun 2020 | New project "Trust in Governance and Regulation in Europe" (TiGRE). Read more

6 May 2020 | Newspaper article in De Standaard "Waarom een heldere communicatie zo belangrijk was" (in Dutch). Read more

6 May 2020 | Newspaper article in Het Nieuwsblad "Helft Vlamingen heeft geen vertrouwen in communicatie overheid over corona" (in Dutch). Read more

16 Apr 2020 | Contribution to the Forum of Federations: "Federalism and the COVID-19 crisis: Federalism and the COVID-19 crisis: Reflections on competences, actors and party politics in Belgium". Read more

14 Feb 2020 | Frédérique Six on the independence of inspectorates and the role of trust in NRC (in Dutch). Read more