Paul 't Hart

Paul 't Hart
Utrecht University | UU · School of Governance (USG)

PhD

About

256
Publications
246,179
Reads
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9,742
Citations
Citations since 2016
76 Research Items
5841 Citations
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Introduction
Paul 't Hart is professor of public administration at the School of Governance (USG), Utrecht University. He has long worked on questions of crisis management, public/political leadership, political-administrative relations within government, group dynamics and decision making in government, policy evaluation and policy fiascos. His current research team, funded by an ERC Advanced Grant (2016-2021), focuses on the nature, construction, achievement and consolidation of 'success' in public policy, public organizations, collaborative governance and local government. Paul is also engaged in senior executive education in the Netherlands and Australia/New Zealand, and regularly advises or presents to major Dutch and Australian public organizations.
Additional affiliations
December 2005 - December 2010
Australian National University
Position
  • professor of political science
January 2003 - present
Utrecht University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
October 1987 - September 2002
Leiden University
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (256)
Chapter
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This book presents 23 in-depth case studies of successful public policies and programmes in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland. Each chapter tells the story of the policy’s origins, aims, design, decision-making and implementation processes, and assesses in which respects—programmatically, process-wise, politically and over time—and to wh...
Article
Full-text available
This book presents 23 in-depth case studies of successful public policies and programmes in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland. Each chapter tells the story of the policy’s origins, aims, design, decision-making and implementation processes, and assesses in which respects—programmatically, process-wise, politically and over time—and to wh...
Article
Full-text available
Today the world is confronted with dual crises: creeping and acute threats unfolding at the same time—for example, the manifestation of extreme weather events such as drought and flooding and the creeping crisis of climate change. To cope with dual crises, this article develops a novel temporal perspective that offers policy actors a repertoire of...
Technical Report
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Eight seasoned researchers from the Dutch humanities and social sciences draw on their experiences as public/applied scientists to offer 10 recommendations to young scholars (and science policymakers) on how to increase the societal impact of their academic work
Article
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Crises are often viewed as catalysts for change. The coronavirus disease crisis is no exception. In many policy sectors, proponents of reform see this global crisis both as a justification and an enabler of necessary change. Policy scholars have paid ample attention to this crisis-reform thesis. Empirical research suggests that these proponents of...
Article
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Journalists, politicians, watchdog institutions, and public administration scholars devote considerable energy to identifying and dissecting failures in government. Studies and case-studies of policy, organizational and institutional failures in the public sector figure prominently in public administration curriculums and classrooms. Such a focus o...
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This reflective contribution tells the story of a veteran public sector crisis management (CM) researcher’s 35-year journey with educating students and CM practitioners, It offers preliminary insights about how the pandemic experience might – and should – induce a significant rethink of how educators conceptualize the nature of crises and the chall...
Article
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Crises vragen van overheden doorgaans ongewone en ingrijpende maatregelen. Bij acute crises moet dat in het hier en nu van direct en zichtbaar gevaar logischerwijs onder gevoelde tijdsdruk gebeuren. Zo ook tijdens de coronacrisis: er zijn verstrekkende beslissingen genomen en forse uitgaven gedaan om zowel de volksgezondheid als de economie overein...
Technical Report
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Dit rapport reflecteert op de organisatie-ontwikkeling van de Inspectie Justitie en Veiligheid, nav een serie rapporten/aanbevelingen daarover van de Auditdienst Rijk.
Article
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IMPACT The goal of this article is to identify evidence-based building blocks for smart and sensible practices of policy design, public leadership and management, while recognizing that universal templates for success are not the right approach. It is critical that strategies to improve governance show appropriate sensitivity to context. The author...
Article
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In this programmatic essay, we argue that public governance scholarship would benefit from developing a self-conscious and cohesive strand of “positive” scholarship, akin to social science subfields like positive psychology, positive organizational studies, and positive evaluation. We call for a program of research devoted to uncovering the factors...
Research
Full-text available
Journalists, parliaments, watchdog institutions, and public administration scholars devote considerable energy to targeting and dissecting failures in government. Studies and case-studies of policy, organizational and institutional failures in the public sector have figured prominently in public administration curriculums and classrooms. Such a foc...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
As a group of fifteen scholars from different sub-fields, countries, and generations, we argue that public administration would benefit from launching a self-conscious and cohesive strand of ‘positive’ scholarship, akin to social science subfields like positive psychology, positive organisational studies, and positive evaluation. We call for a prog...
Article
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Governments today often perform demonstrably well on many fronts, much of the time. Yet, their accomplishments are taken for granted or overshadowed by their shortcomings. The public, the media, and even the public service itself are collectively predisposed to notice government failures over successes. A focus on failure, breakdown and crisis help...
Chapter
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The COVID-19 crisis has tested public institutions, crisis leadership and societal solidarity to the core. Fault lines have come to the fore; unsuspected strengths have been noted. But will this be enough to initiate the necessary steps to prepare our societies for the future crises that will come? In this chapter, we offer the building blocks for...
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This chapter reviews the main governance challenges policymakers faced during the COVID-19 crisis. It examines how governments mobilized institutional capacity to tackle these challenges. We focus on attempts to centralize crisis decision-making and discuss whether centralization contributed to government effectiveness and legitimacy.
Chapter
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COVID-19 brought the ‘unthinkable’ to our doorstep. The pandemic caused a series of global, and interconnected, health, economic, social, institutional and political crises that are unprecedented in living memory. Political leaders struggled to contain the virus and persuade anxious, weary citizens to behave this or that way in order to overcome a...
Chapter
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Communication is pivotal when a society faces a sudden, disruptive and disturbing event. People want to know what is going on, why it is happening, what is done to safeguard them and what they can to protect themselves. During COVID-19, governments were the main sources of that information, at least initially. Governments tried to shape the attitud...
Chapter
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For a crisis to be effectively governed, it must first be noticed, interpreted, understood and assessed. This chapter explores how policymakers ‘made sense’ of the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. We focus on: (1) how policymakers around the world detected the developing threat as it emerged first in China and then in Italy; (2) the prominent involvemen...
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How will societies emerge from the COVID-19 crisis? Will there be a reckoning with failing institutions and crisis leaders? Will valuable lessons be learned? These are the perennial questions that dominate the transitional phase between crisis and a new normal. In this chapter, we discuss how lessons from previous crises help to understand the many...
Chapter
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It’s an institution —a phrase we have all come across or may have used. We intuitively understand what it means. There is something special, perhaps mythical, about them. We value these institutions. We may even find it hard to imagine a life without some of these institutions. In this chapter, we offer a definition of institutions and introduce ou...
Chapter
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The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) is the world’s most formidable centre for particle physics. Its mission is radically ambitious: uncovering what the universe is made of and how it works. It advances that mission by providing particle accelerator facilities that enable world-class research in fundamental physics, bringing togeth...
Book
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This open access book offers unique insights into how governments and governing systems, particularly in advanced economies, have responded to the immense challenges of managing the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing disease COVID-19. Written by three eminent scholars in the field of the politics and policy of crisis management, it offers a uniqu...
Book
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This open access book presents case studies of twelve organisations which the public have come to view as institutions. From the BBC to Doctors Without Borders, from the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra to CERN, this volume examines how some organisations rise to prominence and remain in high public esteem through changing and challenging times. I...
Article
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en Several Canadian and international scholars offer commentaries on the implications of the COVID‐19 pandemic for governments and public service institutions, and fruitful directions for public administration research and practice. This first suite of commentaries focuses on the executive branch, variously considering: the challenge for government...
Article
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Studying collaborative governance has become a booming business. However, the empirical literature still struggles to produce robust generalizations and cumulative knowledge that link contextual, situational and institutional design factors to processes and outcomes. We still have not mustered the broad and deep evidence base that will really help...
Article
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Who should be included in collaborative governance and how they should be included is an important topic, though the dynamics of inclusion are not yet well understood. We propose a conceptual model to shape the empirical analysis of what contributes to inclusion in collaborative processes. We propose that incentives, mutual interdependence and trus...
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How in their day‐to‐day practices do top public servants straddle the politics‐administration dichotomy (PAD), which tells them to serve and yet influence their ministers at the same time? To examine this, we discuss how three informal ‘rules of the game’ govern day‐to‐day political‐administrative interactions in the Dutch core executive: mutual re...
Article
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In recent decades, the policy sciences have struggled to come to terms with the significance of inaction in public policy. Inaction refers to instances when policymakers ‘do nothing’ about societal issues. This article aims to put the study of inaction on a new footing. It presents a five-part typology of forms of inaction before focusing on detail...
Article
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Amidst the general mood of skepticism about the problem-solving capacity of governments in the face of ‘wicked problems’, it is easy to overlook that at times governments do manage to design and implement public policies and programs quite successfully. In this paper, we build on an emerging area of ‘positive evaluation’ research into public policy...
Article
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Dit artikel verkent hoe we met behulp van het publieke waardeperspectief zicht kunnen krijgen op de kwaliteit van lokaal bestuur. Het publieke waardeperspectief beoordeelt de overheid niet op basis van algemene standaarden of benchmarks, maar via de oordelen van betrokken actoren. Deze benadering doet in potentie meer recht aan de unieke, lokale co...
Book
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A new edition of a popular textbook that provides a systematic and up-to-date introduction to the different approaches to understanding leadership in the public sector. This text draws together a wide range of enduring and cutting-edge scholarship to provide a clear and concise overview of the area. Written by two of the field’s leading experts,...
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book review of Kees vd Bos's OUP book on radicalisation. https://insidestory.org.au/killing-for-the-cause/
Book
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https://global.oup.com/academic/product/great-policy-successes-9780198843719?cc=nl&lang=en&#
Chapter
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In this chapter, the editors make the case for positive policy evaluation. They survey classic and contemporary public policy and governance research and debates to demonstrate how they are slanted towards fault-finding, the language of disappointment, failure and crisis. They reflect on the contributions and the limitations of this state of the ar...
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https://theconversation.com/from-gun-control-to-hiv-six-ingredients-of-successful-public-policy-117600 1/4 From gun control to HIV: six ingredients of successful public policy
Book
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https://press.anu.edu.au/publications/series/anzsog/successful-public-policy
Research Proposal
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Public administration-as a field of both academic study and professional practice-would benefit greatly from a more systematic and cohesive strand of research that is explicitly geared towards systematically studying the successes and positive contributions of government. At present, the citizenry at large is ill-informed about what government does...
Book
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This report summarizes the research finding of our Successful Local Government Project. We used the public value framework to analyze the local definitions of value, strategic practices, and stakeholder assessments of six highly successful local governments in the Netherlands.
Article
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Our regimes are democratic, but we are not governed democratically. This apparent paradox is at the root of the disenchantment and dismay that are so widely felt today." Thus begins the most recent product of French political theorist and historian Pierre Rosanvallon's epic twelve-year effort to explore the nature, health and prospects of democrati...
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A review essay about Wolfgang Seibel et al, Verwaltungsdesaster [Government Disasters], 2017.
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Artikel Publieke professional Leren van een lerende organisatie Wat kun je leren van een lerende organisatie? Om een antwoord te vinden op deze vraag brachten wij[1] in samenwerking met de Vereniging voor OverheidsManagement (VOM) in de herfst van 2017 finalisten en winnaars van de eerste vier edities van de verkiezing Overheidsorganisatie van het...
Article
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Abst ract Effective interorganizational collaboration is a pivotal ingredient of any com m unity or nation's capacity to prepare for and bounce back from disruptive crisis events. The boom ing research eld of collaborative public m anagem ent (CPM) has been yielding im portant insights into such collaboration that as yet await transfer to the study...
Chapter
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Disaster researchers do not make much use of the term “crisis” and when they do, it is often used as a synonym for “disaster”. We argue that the use of these terms implies differences in analytical perspective. In this chapter, we outline the crisis approach and explain how it is different from a disaster approach. The crisis approach is fundamenta...
Book
Crisis management has become a defining feature of contemporary governance. In times of crisis, communities and members of organizations expect their leaders to minimize the impact, while critics and bureaucratic competitors make use of social media to blame incumbent rulers and their policies. In this extreme environment, policymakers must somehow...
Book
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Met deze uitgave maakt u kennis met de wereld van het openbaar bestuur en de centrale begrippen, modellen, theorieën, benaderingen en vraagstukken die daar aan de orde zijn. De kracht van Openbaar Bestuur, beleid, organisatie en politiek is dat het een overzichtelijke algemene inleiding is in de wereld van het openbaar bestuur. Het is bedoeld voor...
Article
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This article explores how public managers can use insights about public sector innovation and public value governance to make more than incremental progress in remedying society’s most pressing needs. After outlining the features of public innovation, it considers some traditional barriers to achieving it. It then considers the usefulness of the pu...
Article
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This essay reviews the development of public value management, tracing its rise from relative obscurity in the 1990s to the global attention it receives today. We also introduce the accompanying essays in this symposium which aim to spur further development in the years to come. We review the main tenets of public value management and highlight the...
Article
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The analysis of policy failures is, by definition, not a neutral endeavour, since policy fiascos are not neutral events. Moreover, they are often, usually implicitly, but sometimes explicitly, permeated with prosecutorial narratives, blame games and a search for culprits. Fiascos do not just ‘happen’. They are constructed, declared, and argued over...
Chapter
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In this brief foreword, we reflect on the challenges of learning from crisis
Article
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How can we evaluate government transparency arrangements? While the complexity and contextuality of the values at stake defy straightforward measurement, this article provides an interpretative framework to guide and structure assessments of government transparency. In this framework, we discern criteria clusters for political transparency—democrac...
Article
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This article looks at policy failure in systems that rely on highly autonomous organizations to deliver the services promised in the policy programs. We argue that in order to better understand success and failure in such systems, the existing categories of policy failure and organizational failure do not suffice. Therefore, we look at the ability...
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This article discusses the use of expert ranking methodology for assessing the performance and 'place in history' of heads of government, in particular prime ministers (PMs). It reports an expert ranking study of PMs in the Netherlands. Open/spontaneous as well as criteria-led, more detailed modes of performance assessment are compared. Moreover, t...