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Personal profile

Research interests

I am an associate professor in development management and governance at ISS. Pressing societal issues in which multi-stakeholder and multi-level governance perspectives are needed, are at the heart of what I do. Currently, I am researching the issue of adaptation to heatwaves from a governance perspective. Heatwaves are becoming more frequent and intense, silently killing thousands of vulnerable people around the world every year. I strongly believe that adaptation to the effects of heatwaves requires collective action at various governance levels. I am also participating in research initiatives on the governance of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and humanitarian and social accountability.  

Over the past 20 years, I have built up research and policy expertise in the areas of:

  • local governance and decentralisation
  • natural resource management (particularly water and mining)
  • public sector reform

in the Global South, and the Middle East and North Africa region in particular.

The red thread through all my work are citizen-state relations and how they are embedded in the ‘politics of development’. This notion refers to how different types of (local, national, global) authorities and ordinary citizens negotiate over access to services, information, and social justice, often mediated by consultants or other brokers. I am particularly interested in how local actors translate and appropriate – and sometimes resist-  global policy models and tools.

In my research, I am also able to draw on my substantial teaching and thesis supervision experience at BA, MA, and PhD levels in the areas of political science, governance, and public policy & management (including evaluation). This experience allows me to approach the pressing issues of our time from an interdisciplinary perspective and using a range of research methods. Listening to the research needs of actors on the ground, and engaging my extensive networks to disseminate the results and try to influence policy at various governance levels is central in my research. I find it important that my research improves people’s lives.

Are you interested in doing research on these topics with me? I am available to supervise PhD candidates and keen on setting up international research collaborations. Please get in touch at bergh@iss.nl.

 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Senior researcher, Centre of Expertise on Global Governance, The Hague University of Applied Sciences

1 Sep 2020 → …

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