We are Tilburg University

We are Tilburg University


As a professor of comparative governance, I am focused in research and teaching on the ways in which modern democratic democratic governance works and changes. Currently, I am caught by the advent of a new plebiscitary democracy (in Dutch: 'stemmingendemocratie'), which challenges the established representative democracy in many different ways. 

My longer-term interest in the subject is nicely illustrated by my book 'Vital Democracy, A Theory of Democracy in Action, Oxford University Press, 2010. In a review of Vital Democracy, Kjaer wrote: "It will definitely be on my bookshelf right next to classics on the subject by, for instance, Lijphart, Held and Dahl." Lijphart called it: "a wonderful book... highly innovative...completely original... Compulsory reading for all those talking about democracy."

More books and publications can be found on Researchgate


My expertise lies at the intersection of Public Administration and Political Science. I am well-versed in comparative, institutional and cultural analysis of democratic reform and governance - of democratic leadership and citizenship - at the level of the urban region and the democratic state at large. 

My research is published in international journals such as: Public Administration; International Review of Administrative Sciences; Democratization; Acta Politica; Urban Affairs Review; International Journal of Public Administration; Local Government Studies; Administrative Theory and Praxis; Regional & Federal Studies; Leadership; Innovation; Journal of Political Marketing;  Cross-Cultural Research; GeoJournal; Dutch Crossing; Politics, Culture & Socialization.


Current teaching focuses on core themes in public governance; values of good governance; democratic politics; networks and institutions in public administration; comparative research.

College bestuurskunde in NRC-Next

Knowledge clip public governance on YouTube



Frank Hendriks is Fellow at the Montesquieu Institute in The Hague and Visiting Fellow at St Edmund's College, Cambridge University. He has been visiting professor at IDHEAP in Lausanne, Switzerland, and at Harvard University, UCLA and USC, all in the US, and member of various (international) research networks and editorial boards. He is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Local and Regional Democracy in Europe. He has conducted extensive research, partly commissioned by public bodies, on governance and democracy at the local, regional, national and European level.

Recent publications

  1. Setting the voting agenda for multi-option referendums - Process vari…

    Wagenaar, C., & Hendriks, F. (Accepted/In press). Setting the voting agenda for multi-option referendums: Process variations and civic empowerment. Democratization.
  2. Public servants in innovative democratic governance

    Blijleven, W., van Hulst, M., & Hendriks, F. (2019). Public servants in innovative democratic governance. In S. Elstub, & O. Escobar (Eds.), Handbook of democratic innovation and governance (pp. 209-224). Edwar Elgar.
  3. Publieke Bricoleurs - Over ambtelijk vakmanschap op het raakvlak van …

    Blijleven, W., van Hulst, M., & Hendriks, F. (2019). Publieke Bricoleurs: Over ambtelijk vakmanschap op het raakvlak van gemeente en gemeenschap. Tilburg University.
  4. Democratic innovation beyond deliberative reflection - The plebiscita…

    Hendriks, F. (2019). Democratic innovation beyond deliberative reflection: The plebiscitary rebound and the advent of action-oriented democracy. Democratization, 26(3), 444-464.
  5. Ambitieuze en ambivalente vernieuwing van de lokale democratie in Ned…

    Schaap, L., Hendriks, F., Karsten, N., van Ostaaijen, J., & Wagenaar, C. (2019). Ambitieuze en ambivalente vernieuwing van de lokale democratie in Nederland. Bestuurswetenschappen, 73(2), 47-69.

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