prof. dr. D. Huitema

prof. dr.

  • Room C-544, W&N-building

  • Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), De Boelelaan 1087

    1081 HV Amsterdam

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Personal profile

Personal information

Dr. Dave Huitema is Professor of Environmental Policy at the Netherlands Open University and the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. 

Huitema and his group of colleagues focus on the adaptability of policy systems. For policy systems to be adaptable, learning needs to take place and agency needs to be developed to translate learning in policy change. This is why the team is analyzing for example the role of experiments, evaluation, and entrepreneurs in learning and policy innovation.

Currently Huitema fullfils several academic roles. He is deputy chair of the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis (EPA) at the IVM, vice-chair of the Department of Science of the Faculty of Management, Science and Technology at the Netherlands Open University (OU), member of the Research Committee of the latter Faculty, and he is one of the coordinators of the OU research program on Safety and the City. Huitema is member of the Governing Board of the Dutch National Research School for the Environmental Sciences (SENSE, representing the NL Open University), and he is a member of the editorial board of various academic journals (including "Ecology and Society" and “Global Environmental Change”).

In the past, Huitema acted as Vice-Chair of COST Action ‘Innovations in Climate Governance’ (IS1309, co-chaired with Andrew Jordan), he has served two terms as a member of the Governing Board of the Dutch Association for Public Administration, and he has been Director of Teaching in the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis at IVM.

Huitema has extensive international experience – he has been a visiting scholar to the Program on Governance for Sustainable Development at University of California at Santa Barbara (2005 - visiting with Professor Oran Young), the Centre for Environmental Research and Training, University of Birmingham-UK (2000 - with Professor Judith Petts); the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University-Canada (1999 - with Professor Audrey Armour), the Department of Government, University of Essex-UK (1997 - with Professor Jeremy Richardson), and the Department of Political Science, University of Florida-USA (1996 - with Professors Albert Matheny and Walter Rosenbaum). He has done research in a range of countries, including Canada, the USA, the UK, Poland, Spain, Costa Rica, South Africa, and Vietnam.

Huitema and colleagues have played key roles in a number of large scale research efforts funded by the European Union (CAPFLO, Cecilia2050, LUC4C, Combioserve, Responses, LiveDiverse, ADAM, NeWater) and the Dutch Government (Knowledge for Climate, Living with Water). Starting in 2019, Huitema will be involved with the EU funded project NEWCOMERS. Huitema's group was host to the International Workshop on Entrepreneurship in Climate Governance (Amsterdam, June 2015), the Governance of Adaptation Symposium in Amsterdam (March 2012) and it maintains the Water Governance Blog. The group actively engages with discussions in the Earth System Governance network and the Resilience Alliance.

Huitema is author and (co)-editor of several books (the most recent being Governing Climate Change. Polycentricity in Action? Cambridge University Press 2018) and many peer reviewed articles on issues related to environmental governance. He received several prices for his work, notably the Lasswell Award for best article in the journal Policy Sciences (2012), the Van Poelje prize for the best Dutch publication in the field of Public Administration (2004), and the Brasz prize for the best masters' thesis in Dutch Public Administration (1994).

Dave Huitema is accepting suitable new Ph.D-students. Current and past Ph.D students that he has (co-) supervised from his position at the VU:

- Mirja Schöderer (Germany)

- Erick Velazquez (Mexico)

- Nikki Funke (South Africa)

- Belinda McFadgen (New Zealand) - defended 2018

- Eric Massey (USA) - defended 2016

- Gert Becker (Germany) - defended 2015

- Constanze Haug (Germany) - defended 2015

- Roos den Uyl (Netherlands) - defended 2014

- Stijn Brouwer (Belgium) -defended 2013



Ancillary activities

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Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where D. Huitema is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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governance Social Sciences
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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1999 2019

Institutional innovation in urban governance: The case of climate change adaptation

Patterson, J. J. & Huitema, D., 23 Feb 2019, In : Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. 62, 3, p. 374-398 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Climate change
climate change

It’s Time To Learn About Learning: Where Should the Environmental and Natural Resource Governance Field Go Next?

Gerlak, A. K., Heikkila, T., Smolinski, S. L., Armitage, D., Huitema, D. & Moore, B., 2 Sep 2019, In : Society and Natural Resources. 32, 9, p. 1056-1064 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

natural resources
natural resource
learning theory

The black box of power in polycentric environmental governance

Morrison, T. H., Adger, W. N., Brown, K., Lemos, M. C., Huitema, D., Phelps, J., Evans, L., Cohen, P., Song, A. M., Turner, R., Quinn, T. & Hughes, T. P., 1 Jul 2019, In : Global Environmental Change. 57, p. 1-8 8 p., 101934.

Research output: Contribution to JournalShort surveyAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
policy implementation
social change
global change
environmental change

Entrepreneurship in climate governance at the local and regional levels: concepts, methods, patterns, and effects

Huitema, D., Boasson, E. L. & Beunen, R., Jun 2018, In : Regional Environmental Change. 18, 5, p. 1247-1257 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalEditorialAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
policy development

Experimentation at the interface of science and policy: a multi-case analysis of how policy experiments influence political decision-makers

McFadgen, B. & Huitema, D., 2018, In : Policy Sciences. 51, 2, p. 161-187 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
political decision
decision maker

Activities 2002 2016

  • 58 Lecture / Presentation
  • 13 Editorial work
  • 5 Conference
  • 4 Membership

Polycentric governance, some thoughts on the basis of the INOGOV Action

D. Huitema (Speaker)
4 Jul 2016

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Annual Review of Policy Design (Journal)

D. Huitema (Member of editorial board)

Activity: Peer review and Editorial workEditorial workAcademic

De politiek van stroomgebiedsorganisaties

S. Meijerink (Speaker), D. Huitema (Speaker)
10 Mar 2016

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

The Strategies of Policy Entrepreneurs in Water Transitions

D. Huitema (Speaker)
28 Apr 2016

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Press / Media

NOS Zembla: De smerige olieroute

D. Huitema


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Other