We are Tilburg University

We are Tilburg University


Currently, I am an Associate Professor at Tilburg Law School (Tilburg Institute of Governance, department of Public Law & Governance). I have a Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from Utrecht University, and a PhD in Public Administration from Erasmus University Rotterdam. Over the last years, I have been a project leader on various projects, including a join research on smart urban intermediaries and on civil servants work practices. I live in Utrecht with my partner and our two daughters.  


My research focuses on the work practices employed in the governance of public challenges. I have studied the practices of civil servants, police officers and intermediaries (we have also called them exemplary practitioners and best persons). In addition, I have studied storytelling in local government and at the police. Furthermore, I specialize in interpretive analyses, narrative and frame analysis in particular, and in ethnographic fieldwork. I have published about my research in a broad range of journals across the social sciences, including Public Administration Review; The American Review of Public Administration; Organization Studies; The British Journal of Criminology; Planning Theory; and Media, Culture & Society.  You can look up my publications in Google Scholar or look at them below. 


In the Public Administration Bachelor I teach a course in Organization Science. The rest of my teaching focuses on doing (qualitative) research. I teach a beginner’s course in Qualitative methods for the Public Administration bachelor students and an advanced course in qualitative analyses for the join Research Master in Public Administration and Organisational Science. I am also co-teaching a course on conducting research for the Netherlands Institute of Governance (PhD students from political science and public administration). Finally, I am involved in methods courses for PhD students at the Tilburg Law School.  



Over the last 2,5 years we studied the work of smart urban intermediaries (SmartUrbI project) in urban neighborhoods in four European cities: Glasgow, Birmingham, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. This project was funded through Urban Europe. It is a collaboration between four universities and the Danish Town Planning Institute. In addition, we worked with eighteen partner organizations. Our report can be found here. Recently, we started a new project on the way intermediaries make their work sustainable in five Dutch cities for NWO. This research will also be embedded in TiREG at the Tilburg Law School. In 2019 we  finished a collaborative project with the AenO Fonds Gemeenten, The ministry of Internal Affairs, International Cooperation Agency of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) and six municipalities. The report can be found here. Finally, together with Markus Haverland and Joachim Blatter I edited a handbook of qualitative political science for Sage.


Smart urban intermediaries project: http://www.smart-urban-intermediaries.com/  

Ethnography and Narrative

A setting-sensitive approach to organizational storytelling

Top publications

  1. From what to where - A setting-sensitive approach to organizational s…

    van Hulst, M., & Ybema, S. (2020). From what to where: A setting-sensitive approach to organizational storytelling. Organization Studies, 41(3), 365– 391.
  2. Qualitative research in political science, Volume IV - Interpretive a…

    Blatter, J., Haverland, M., & van Hulst, M. (Ed.) (2016). Qualitative research in political science, Volume IV: Interpretive and constructivist approaches. Sage Publications.
  3. Five ways to make a difference - Perceptions of practitioners working…

    Durose, C., van Hulst, M., Jeffares, S., Escobar, O., Agger, A., & de Graaf, L. (2016). Five ways to make a difference: Perceptions of practitioners working in urban neighborhoods. Public Administration Review, 76(4), 576-586. [ 10.1111/puar.12502].
  4. From Policy “Frames” to “Framing” - Theorizing a More Dynamic, Politi…

    van Hulst, M. J., & Yanow, D. (2016). From Policy “Frames” to “Framing”: Theorizing a More Dynamic, Political Approach. The American Review of Public Administration, 46(1), 92–112.
  5. Storytelling, a model of and a model for planning

    van Hulst, M. J. (2012). Storytelling, a model of and a model for planning. Planning Theory, 11(3), 299-318.

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