About the project

The project Reputation Matters in the Regulatory State: Rethinking the Fundamentals of Regulatory Independence, Credibility and Accountability aims to challenge the fundamentals of the regulatory state. Through applying a reputational lens, we set out to re-conceptualise and redefine core foundational assumptions of regulation literature, also with direct and essential implications for the practice of regulation.

Adopting a reputational lens allows us to move beyond exclusive economic regulation logics, and formal-contractual accounts of control, which have dominated the literature, to one in which greater recognition is accorded to both wider organisational considerations and the multiplicity of organisational goals, as well as to the relevance of broader constituencies and the presence of constraints on (regulatory) power, beyond formal structures and hierarchical relations.

The acronym of the project, EURICA [read: Eureka!], stands for each of its key concepts (Reputation, Independence, Credibility, Accountability- RICA), as well as recognising the EU-funded nature of the project.

The project is generously funded by European Research Council (ERC), which supports groundbreaking, high-risk high-gain research, with a grant of nearly 1.5 million euro, over a period of 5 years (2017-2022).

Read further to meet our team or click here for more details about the project.

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Dr Madalina Busuioc

Principal Investigator

Madalina Busuioc is Principal Investigator of the programme “Reputation Matters in the Regulatory State". She was awarded the grant in 2016 and the project runs for 5 years (2017-2022).

Madalina is Associate Professor at the Institute of Public Administration, Leiden University. She is also a Research Associate at the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR) of the London School of Economics and Political Science and Associated Fellow of the Centre for European Law and Governance of the University of Amsterdam. Before joining Leiden University, she held the position of Senior Lecturer in Politics with tenure (Associate Professor) at the Department of Politics, University of Exeter in the UK. Prior to that, she was Fellow in Regulation at the London School of Economics (LSE). Dr Busuioc obtained her PhD in 2010 (cum laude) from Utrecht University.

Her main research interests are in the area of multi-level (risk) regulation and governance, with a particular emphasis on the study of bureaucratic agencies operating both at the national and EU levels, public accountability, agency independence and the institutional design, and practices, of multi-level co-operation. Her most recent work draws on reputational approaches to study and theorise about their implications for our understanding of public accountability and theories of political control.

She is the author of European Agencies: Law and Practices of Accountability, published by Oxford University Press, and her articles have appeared in top-ranked public administration journals such as JPART, Public Administration Review, Public Administration, Governance, JEPP, Regulation &Governance.

She is the recipient of the 2016 Haldane Prize for best article published in Public Administration in 2016.

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Dr Dovilė Rimkutė

ERC Team Member

Dovilė Rimkutė is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Public Administration. Her research interests cover a range of regulatory governance topics, however, EU-level regulatory agencies and risk regulation take a central role. Within the ERC project, she carries work in the context of Module 1, with a specific focus on independence and regulatory credibility in risk assessment practices and regulatory communications.

Dovilė received her Ph.D. in Political Sciences from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in 2016. Her PhD project was part of a Marie Curie initial training network focusing on the Inter-Institutional Cooperation in the EU (INCOOP). In her dissertation entitled ‘Science and Risk Regulation in the European Union’, Dovilė focused on EU regulatory agencies dealing with sector specific risks. She examined how regulatory agencies contend with their core tasks of providing scientific advice to EU institutions and asked why regulatory agencies’ scientific practices vary across different regulatory contexts.

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Saar Alon-Barkat

ERC Team Member - Post-doctoral

Project: Regulatory Governance and Organisational Reputation

Saar is a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Public Administration. His main academic research interests lie in the interrelations between modern bureaucracies and their external audiences, and their implications for democracy. Saar is conducting research within Module 1 of the project, focusing on regulatory agencies’ independence from political stakeholders and its effect on their credibility and reputation.

Saar studied his Ph.D. at the Department of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His doctoral research focused on the symbolic aspects of bureaucracies’ communication with citizens, most prominently as reflected in their use of branding and marketing. He explored, experimentally, the influence of symbolic elements in government public communication on citizens’ attitudes about government organizations. In additional research projects, he studied government organizations’ responses to public pressures, specifically in the form of social protests.

In his research, Saar employs a variety of empirical methods, including behavioral experiments, cross-sectional time-series analyses, quantitative case studies, and quantitative and qualitative analyses of interviews. His previous works were published in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Governance and Policy & Politics.

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Benjamin Tidå

ERC Team Member - PhD

Project: Understanding Institutions of Accountability: What Drives Account-holders’ Focus and Interest in Accountability?

Benjamin Tidå is a PhD Candidate at the Institute of Public Administration, Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Leiden University. Benjamin works on the project “Understanding Institutions of Accountability: What drives Account-Holder’s Focus and Interest in Accountability”, under Module 2 of the project. His work will explore the incentives and motivations of accountability forums, including the influence of reputational considerations, with a view to explain variations in account-holders’ interest and intensity of holding to account.

Benjamin obtained a MSc in Political Science from Lund University in 2015. Before joining Leiden University and this research programme, he worked in the non-profit sector where he gained practical experience of working with various accountability practices and accountability arrangements.

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Thijs de Boer

ERC Team Member - PhD

Project: Voluntary Accountability: Pro-Active Accountability Practices

Thijs de Boer is PhD candidate at the Institute of Public Administration and focuses on voluntary accountability practices. Particularly, his work focuses on what drives regulatory agencies to proactively engage in accountability obligations, and which conditions help explain this frequently observed behavior. The project has a special focus on reputational motivations.

Thijs obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree Public Administration and Organizational Science at Utrecht University. Previously, he was already involved in the EURICA project as a student assistant. In his master thesis, he focused on the empirical predictive value of the reputation perspective vis- à-vis more classic perspectives on public accountability and the conditions that influence this.