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irspm2018@speak.co.uk 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS, UK 11-13 April 2018

Network Governance: Theories, Methods and Practices

On 7–10 April before the IRSPM Conference, the Netherlands School of Government will be offering a PhD credit-bearing course at the University of Edinburgh Business School.

Network Governance: Theories, Methods and Practices
Saturday 7 April–Tuesday 10 April
Centre for Service Excellence
University of Edinburgh Business School


Netherlands School of Government (NIG), supported by IRSPM

  • Professor Erik Hans Klijn (Erasmus University of Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Professor Jenny Lewis (Melbourne University, Australia)
  • Guest Lecturer

Draft Programme

A draft programme for the course is now available. Please note that the agenda may be subject to change.

Aim of the course

Transformations of state and society over the last 3 decades have increased the importance of governance networks in formulating, determining and implementing public policy. Governance networks (including partnerships and the recent rise of coproduced public services), engage public, private and civil society actors at transnational, national, regional and local scales in shaping the future of our societies. These however may fail due to many causes. Network management is often mentioned to mitigate the risk of failure and enable governance networks to achieve desired outcomes in terms of more effective and democratic governance and more innovative policy making.

Research into governance networks is now firmly established all over the world. It is offering important opportunities for theoretical and methodological development, and for the generation of new knowledge with both academic and policy relevance. National and local differences demonstrate the need for theoretically and methodologically sound comparative research.

This course is offered by the Netherlands School of Government (NIG) in cooperation with the International Research Society of Public Management (IRSPM). It will bring together PhD students and leading academics from both networks, but will also be open for PhD students from other countries. It will create a learning community in which PhD students will:

  • Develop their analytical understanding of governance networks
  • Strengthen their theoretical and methodological knowledge
  • Test their ideas and conclusions through dialogue with leading researchers
  • Contextualise their research in a comparative, multi-national setting
  • Have a chance to present and gain feedback on their research
  • Build an international network of young researchers in the field.


The course accounts for 4 ECTS, which includes the writing of a paper and preparing the literature. When finished the course students will receive an official certificate issued by the Netherlands Institute of Government (NIG), an official accredited research school.


If you want to participate in the course, please apply by filling in the application form on the NIG website.

Fee: €500

PhD students from NIG can participate tuition-free.