Governance for Society

Human rights, democracy, migration, surveillance and privacy, corruption, environmental issues, transnational law, international relations, rule of law are in the developing world, are the challenges of Governance in the 21st century. This thematic area is of increasing importance, influencing and affecting people in all parts of the world. 

In the framework of this thematic area, researchers from the VU Faculties of Law, Social Sciences, School of Business and Economics, the Zijlstra Center, and CIS-VU staff collaborate in interdisciplinary research, education and outreach, focused on these societal challenges.

Collaborative activities of CIS-IO and researchers form VU and international partners are focused on focus countries South Africa and Indonesia, but also work in other developing and emerging countries including Bhutan, Yemen and Colombia -- societies with complex structures and power relations and often a long history of conflict and violence.

In Indonesia researchers of the Faculty of Law collaborated with staff of Universitas Indonesia (UI). The Zijlstra Center was a partner in Performance Audits for Public Policy Analyses for the Indonesian Supreme Audit Institution. Researchers from FEWEB, FSW and CIS-VU staff have collaborated in the implementation of ‘Universal Health Insurance’ in Indonesia with Universitas Gadjah Mada.

In Bhutan VU researchers from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration (FSW) and the Faculty of Law together with VU IO experts, trained the National Assembly on strategic management of parliamentary affairs, governance issues, and international relations.

As part of the Desmond Tutu Programme managed by CIS-VU/SAVUSA, the Zijlstra Centre is involved in research collaboration with universities in South Africa. Since 2015, at the Zijlstra Centre PhD researchers are studying the topic ‘Optimizing public value contribution of NPOs to a sustainable development of South African communities’.

In Colombia a five year academic collaboration of VU with ESAP the Institute for Public Administration in Bogotá and the University of Barcelona was carried out by Organizational Sciences, FSW in close collaboration with CIS, aimed at improving governance and democracy in the Colombian society. Research collaboration between Colombian researchers and VU was done in the areas of Public Administration, Higher Education (researchers from FSW) and Internet Governance.

The Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Behavioral & Human Movement Sciences and CIS-VU collaborate in university management, leadership and educational quality assurance in Indonesia, Ethiopia and Yemen.

A video shows the results of 5 users of intensive academic collaboration between VU and the ESAP in Colombia: