TOPICS FOR DISSERTATIONS

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1 MEPP Master of European Politics and Policies Member of European Master in Public Administration network Parkstraat 45 Box Belgium KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN TOPICS FOR DISSERTATIONS PUBLIC MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE Prof. G. Bouckaert Administrational trust Today, several public management and public service reform agendas are directed towards the improvement of trust in public organisations Political science trust research has mainly focused on societal trust in government and other societal actors. However, organisation theorists in the field of economics, sociology and psychology have also focused on organisational and interorganisational trust. This focus would be especially relevant in a public administration context. Therefore, Bouckaert suggests three main clusters of trust relationships that are relevant for the study and practice of public administration. Administrational trust focuses on T2 and T3 trust. Trust of in is T1 Society Public Societal trust in administration T2 Public Society Administrational trust in society T3 Public Public Administrational internal trust Managing for/by administrational trust in (COUNTRY) (non trust eroding or trust building instruments of management and steering) Politico administrative regimes and administrational trust: institutional explanations of administrational trust: Comparison between (COUNTRY) and (COUNTRY) Performance Performance regimes: which actors are steering performance management implementation and design in Flanders and (COUNTRY)? (Stakeholder analysis of agenda setting phase in performance oriented reform) Managing performance: financial cycles (budgets in particular), contracts, personnel, strategy, etc. Managing reforms for performance 1

2 Prof. M. Brans A. Policy advisory systems (Ass. Valérie Pattyn and Bart De Peuter) The Public Management Institute is currently involved in a wide scale international book project, which has the ambition to make a state of affairs of the practice of policy analysis in a range of countries, including Belgium. Policy analysis and policy advice in particular are no longer exclusively conducted by governmental actors. Instead, a more multi governance approach, which takes into account the multitude of actors and government levels producing policy advice, seems more apt. We invite students to draft their master thesis about one of the following themes, clustered around several dimensions: I: THE STYLES AND METHODS OF PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS IN countr(y)(ies) X The Policy Analysis Profession in countr(y)(ies) X The Choice of Formal Policy Analysis Methods in countr(y)(ies) X Policy Analytical Styles in countr(y)(ies) X Policy Analysis and Bureaucratic Capacity Reflections on Twenty Five Years of Policy Advice in countr(y)(ies) X II: POLICY ANALYSIS BY GOVERNMENTS Policy Analysis in the Central Government of countr(y)(ies) X Policy Analysis in Sub National Governments of countr(y)(ies) X Policy Analysis at the Local Level of countr(y)(ies) X III: COMMITTEES, PUBLIC INQUIRIES, RESEARCH INSTITUTES, CONSULTANTS, AND PUBLIC OPINION AND POLICY ADVICE Public Inquiries Internal Policy Advisory Councils Committees and Legislatures Public Opinion Consultants IV: PARTIES AND INTEREST GROUP BASED POLICY ANALYSIS Political Parties Business Associations and Policy Analysis Policy Analysis by the Labour Movement Policy Analysis and the Voluntary Sector V: ACADEMIC AND ADVOCACY BASED POLICY ANALYSIS The Media Think Tanks and Policy Analysis Academics and Public Policy Policy Analysis Instruction We welcome master theses which apply one of these themes on Belgium; or master theses with a comparative perspective (preferably Belgium versus country X). 2

3 B. Policy instruments (Ass. Ellen Fobé) Mapping and analysis of policy instrument types within a specific policy domain of the European Union (characteristics, implementation process, pros and cons, ) Comparative analysis of one instrument type across policy domains (implementation process, use, ) Ex ante evaluation to support policy instrument choice (mapping of formal and informal types within one or more European policy domains) Analysis of the content and characteristics of one specific type of ex ante evaluation across policy domains The European dimension of policy instrument choice: opportunities and restraints to EU member states (literature analysis + policy domain) The use of Regulatory Impact Analysis to support European legislation, analyzed from a comparative perspective C. Consultation and legitimacy (ass. Jan Van Damme) Consultation processes in European policy making: a mapping exercise of types, input and throughput legitimacy Consultation processes in European policy making: case study of the input, output, and throughput legitimacy of a consultation process. Analysis of old and new methods of public consultation and participation in European Union policy making D. Evaluation (ass. Valérie Pattyn and Bart De Peuter) Evaluation in the European Parliament: what role to play in evaluating European policies? Evaluation in the European Commission: a mapping exercise. Capacity and use of labour market policy evaluations: an analysis of 10 European countries (on the basis of EC Mutual Learning peer reviews) Since Prof. K. Verhoest is not available this academic year for dissertation guidance, you can turn to his doctor assistants (Dr. J. Matthijs and Dr. J. Voets). Dr. J. Matthijs Comparative studies on autonomy and control of public agencies in economic sectors (e.g.: financial, energy, telecom) > case study research where two or three agencies in different EU countries are assessed on their formal and perceived autonomy Capacity of European regulators > comparative case study between a limited number of European agencies (amongst which at least the European energy regulator ACER). Alternatively: a broad quantitative comparative analysis of European regulators Similarities and differences between ERGEG and ACER: from a network to an agency? > Comparison between the former energy network ERGEG and current agency ACER Partnerships in the provision of security: comparative study of the possibilities for the private security industry > Case studies of the regulatory framework of cooperation between the public sector and private security. One case should be Sweden or Finland. 3

4 Quality standards in private security: comparative study within the EU > Case studies or general literature study of the incorporation of quality standards for private security firms within the EU. Important questions: what organisations are responsible for developing the quality standards? What about stakeholder participation? The regulatory arrangement for the private security industry: case study > Single case study (Belgium) or multiple case study of the regulatory arrangement (actors responsible for regulation) of the private security industry. In case of single case study: particular attention to EU level legislation and regulation. Dr. J. Voets All issues can be studied dealing with public sector organization and related changes. Management of interorganizational chains & processes, applied in different policy fields Governance networks: issues of democratic quality & control? Management of governance networks: government as a meta governor? Performance of governance networks? Network managers: skills, competences, leadership? Territorial governance: in search of optimal scales for policy making & service delivery? Public private partnerships: trust, leadership, government steering & control? GUEST PROFESSORS Dr. Ana Maria Dobre (Max. 2 students) (Contact: European Cohesion Policy: from its historical development to current reforms The links between European Cohesion Policy and the Europe 2020 Strategy The future European Cohesion Policy: Proposals for post 2013 Cohesion Policy Reforms Regional development policy: case studies The Europeanisation of Member and Candidate countries in the field of territorial and regional governance (Comparative) Analysis of state traditions in Europe and beyond: from federalism, regionalism and multi level governance to centralism Dr. Pieter Bouwen (Max. 2 students) (Contact: Lessons from the crisis in the eurozone: strengthening economic governance of EMU. The economic and financial crisis has revealed a number of (institutional) weaknesses of economic policy making in the eurozone and the EU in general. With or without relying on treaty change, the economic governance framework needs to be strengthened. How will the EU drive economic integration forward with or without treaty change? What kind of institutional changes are taking place? What are the politics behind this process including the role of Germany? 4

5 Latest developments in EU lobbying: drawing lessons from recent experiences. In recent months and years, important developments have taken place in the area of EU lobbying. After the Commission's transparency initiative, an inter institutional dialogue is now taking place to develop a coordinated approach across the EU institutions to deal with lobbying. In addition, some recent scandals in the European Parliament have questioned the interactions of MEPs with the lobbying community. INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL AND EUROPEAN POLICY Research group on the EU as an International Actor The research group on the EU as an International Actor conducts research on four main topics. First, on the dynamics of the interaction between the European Commission and the EU member states in external negotiations on first pillar issues (such as trade, or the environment). Secondly, on the political economy of EU trade policy making processes with a focus on Transatlantic trade relations and interest group activities in the context of the WTO, attention to US decisionmaking procedures in this area. Third, on the foreign policy of the European Union. New concepts of foreign policy are: structural power and structural foreign policy. Fourth, on multilevel governance and the interaction between international, European, national and regional levels of governance, interaction between public and private actors. And finally, on the relations between the EU and Asia, European and Asian models of integration and cooperation. Prof. S. Keukeleire Professor Keukeleire's research focuses on foreign policy analysis in general, and on the foreign policy of the European Union in particular. Professor Keukeleire requires MEPP students to analyse aspects of EU foreign policy by making use of the analytical tools from the Public Management, Public Administration or Public Policy course. Examples: Technical Assistance or the role of consultants and other private actors in the preparation and implementation of EU foreign policy (possible case studies: Kosovo, Palestinian Authorities, ) EU foreign policy, good governance and the importance of administrative capacities EU foreign policy, good governance and neglect of the educational sector Good governance, rule of law and the salary problem in the state building policies of the EU (and OSCE and/or UN). An evaluation of the new European External Action Service (EEAS). An evaluation of the European Commission s DG Development after the creation of the EEAS An evaluation of the units in the EEAS that are responsible for the civilian or military crisis management units in the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) An evaluation of the first years of the European Defence Agency (EDA) An evaluation of the industrial and technological dimension of the CSDP after the Lisbon Treaty 5

6 Prof. F. Govaerts (Max. 4 students) The Swiss federal system: a possible model for a future EU political construction? Euroscepticism : what is really behind this concept? Trade unions and the European integration process: an easy match? The 'permissive consensus' ( L. Lindberg and S. Scheingold, 1970) re examined after Prof. B. Kerremans Students can choose a topic related to the course International Political economy. Research Group on Russia and Eurasia At the Institute for International and European Policy professor Malfliet leads a team of young scholars whose research projects deal with recent institutional, legal, social and political changes in Central Europe and the CIS countries. The research unit employs approaches from comparative politics, comparative law, international relations and area studies, and provides a forum for doctoral and postdoctoral studies. The current team gathers both Belgian scholars and researchers from Central and Eastern Europe conducting joint and individual research projects. Prof. Dr. K. Malfliet Students can choose a topic related to the course Russian Politics. Centre for Peace Research and Strategic Studies (CPRS) The Centre for Peace Research and Strategic Studies conducts research on conflict transformation, the prevention of violent conflicts, including the development of a methodology for Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (P CIAS), sustainable peace building architecture and sustainable peace building leadership, democratic transition and peace building, and the political economy of conflicts. Prof. A. Langer Students can choose a topic related to the course Strategy and Global Security Analysis. 6

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