Prof dr Hans de Bruijn is Professor of Public Administration in the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft University of Technology. His research focuses on governance issues at the intersection of politics, management and technology, such as decision-making about large-scale infrastructure projects, the privatisation and deregulation of utilities, safety and security, river management, regulation and inspection, managing professionals and various types of government policy relating to technology.
Such issues are usually characterised by a high degree of complexity. Governance involves a network of interdependent actors who behave strategically and know how to play the game. The type of problems that arise in this context are often ambiguous in nature, and the relevant information is often contested. Unforeseen dynamics are also very common. Hans de Bruijn has written several books on these issues, including Management in Networks: On Multi-Actor Decision Making (Routledge: London 2008, with Ernst ten Heuvelhof) and Process Management: Why Project Management Fails in Complex Decision-Making Processes (Springer: Berlin 2010, with Ernst ten Heuvelhof and Roel in ’t Veld). He has also published on the management of professional organisations, including: Managing Professionals (Routledge: London 2010) and Managing Performance in the Public Sector (Routledge: London 2007, 2nd ed.).
Actors who deal with governance issues need to possess a high tolerance for complexity in order to understand these issues and come up with appropriate governance arrangements. At the same time, however, public debate in this area is less about tolerance for complexity and more about sense and simplicity. It is essentially also a game involving words, images and arguments. Hans de Bruijn is fascinated by this game and has written a short book, Geert Wilders Speaks Out (London: Eleven 2011), on the frames used by this internationally renowned Dutch anti-immigration politician, who has dominated public debate in the Netherlands for several years. He has also published a book (in Dutch) on patterns in the game of framing and reframing, which will appear in a revised English edition in 2015.