Future Students

Supervision experience in guiding M.A. and Ph.D. students as well as Research Assistants

Since 2010, I have supervised 30+ MA research papers (theses) at various institutions (in The Netherlands: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology, Utrecht University and Erasmus University Rotterdam; in Azerbaijan: ADA University). I have also supervised 7 research assistants (Svenja Fox in 2012; Andrea Brock in 2012; Richard Saprong in 2014; Milica Starcevic in 2015; Josep Pinyol in 2018; Kseniia Biruikova in 2020; Theodore Lai Wenming in 2020). I currently serve on doctoral committees of 2 Ph.D. studentsMs. Ilaha Abasli with Professor Peter Knorringa and Ms. Beatriz Campillo with Professor Des Gasper. In the past, I have examined Ph.D. dissertations of Ms. Salomey Afrifa at Erasmus University Rotterdam and Ms. Irna Hofman at Leiden University. I enjoy working with research students since this offers an opportunity for mutual learning and exchange.

I am currently interested in supervising new Ph.D. students. Please see below if any of my currently on-going research projects may be interesting to you and do get in touch to explore options for funding a Ph.D. trajectory, either full time or part-time. 

Policy Translation and Policy Narratives

I am interested in studying how, and to what effect, environmental and water policy innovations travel across various borders (often from Global North to Global South, but also from South to South and from South to North). This research line concerns itself with the three categories of policy translation during such cross-jurisdictional travel: the politics of meaning, the politics of scale and the politics of contingency (see page on Policy Translation on this blog for more details, or read Mukhtarov, 2014).

Knowledge Pluralism and Policy (Institutional) Design

I am interested in how policy-makers and public managers can make use of multiple ways of knowing in public policy and governance. Scientific knowledge is only one type of knowledge, there is indigenous knowledge, knowledge based on rituals, practices and values. They all are valuable and need to be included in the policy-making process.

The role of discourses and framing of knowledge make an important part of this research avenue, including the struggles over meanings and their plasticity. However, the key challenge in policy-making, in my understanding, is the ability of the system to allow for stitching together knowledge claims that come from different sources (e.g. knowledge based on experience as opposed to knowledge based on books), not only different frames.

Behavioural Approaches to Public Policy

I am interested in the role of emotions and affect in changing environmental (as well as policy) attitudes and promoting sustainable policies around the world. I approach emotions and behavioral science from a public policy perspective and ask questions about the transition to sustainability and the place of so-called “libertarian paternalism” therein. Taken broadly, I am interested in understanding the role of emotions, cognition and behavioural aspects in public policy, be it in an environmental domain or any other policy domain.

Global Hydr0-hubs, Branding and Commodification of (Water) Expertise

Global hydro-hubs are nations and/or cities that brand themselves as centers of excellence in water engineering, management and governance and, by implication, as the natural choice for future clients who need their water-related problems fixed. In the case of the Netherlands, the slogan is “Bring in the Dutch!” repeated across a countless myriad of conferences, trainings, world exhibitions, business meetings, in major press outlets such as New York Times and Guardian and in bi- and multi-lateral governmental meetings. Taking the Dutch Hydr0-hub as an example, I am interested in understanding the branding strategy and project activities of various actors within the Dutch Water Sector abroad (e.g. projects in Colombia, Vietnam and Bangladesh). Similar efforts to become a hydr0-hub are conducted by Singapore, and to a lesser extent, UK and USA. Comparing branding and networking strategies of these actors help us to understand how water (governance) expertise has come a much wanted commodity in late capitalism, and what this may mean to efforts to pursue Sustainable Development Goals.