Douwe Truijens is a PhD candidate in the programme group Political Economy and Transnational Governance (PETGOV) in the Department of Political Science. His PhD project ‘New Modes of Lobbying for New Modes of Governance’ (funded through an individual NWO Research Talent Grant) addresses the question how interest groups respond to new and developing policy-making circumstances in the European Union.
The project’s central focus is how such groups respond to (quasi-)experimentalist governance processes, and how, in turn, their reaction fosters the functioning of this emerging mode of EU governance. The role and activities of interest groups are of paramount importance for EU policy-makers, who increasingly have to deal with complex and uncertain policy problems, as well as a polyarchic distribution of power among a wide variety of actors in the European polity. In these exacerbated circumstances, policy-makers have to rely extensively on input from civil society. As such, from a deliberative point of view, interest groups as non-state actors could contribute to both effective and legitimate policy-making, while flaws such as bias in interest representation may instead undermine both.
Douwe studied political science at the University of Amsterdam, and graduated from the Research Master Social Sciences (cum laude) in the summer of 2013. His research interests include policy-making processes in the EU, lobbying (or 'interest representation'), and theoretical and philosophical debates on democracy and democratic legitimacy. He is specialised in new modes of EU governance, and 'experimentalist governance' in particular, with a specific focus on the role of interest organisations and other non-state actors in such policy-making processes.
Douwe has previously been Programme Manager of the Amsterdam Centre for Contemporary European StudieS (ACCESS EUROPE), a joint venture of the Universiteit of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Vrije Universiteit (VUA). ACCESS EUROPE aims to establish a platform for education, research, and public debate on the European Union and its member states in the capital of the Netherlands, www.accesseurope.org.