Douwe Truijens is a postdoctoral researcher in the programme group Political Economy and Transnational Governance (PETGOV) in the Department of Political Science. He recently received a research grant from the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES) together with Dr Marcel Hanegraaff, for a project on the role of interest representation in EU policy processes. The main focus will be on the recursive relationship between the policy-making institutions within which such groups operate and the behaviour of these interest groups. The underlying assumption thereby is that institutions and behaviour influence one another.
Douwe's PhD project ‘New Modes of Lobbying for New Modes of Governance’ (defended in February 2019) addressed the question how interest groups respond to new and developing policy-making circumstances in the European Union. The central focus of the PhD project was how such groups respond to recursive 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.