Dr Eva Thomann
Associate Research Fellow
I am a politics scholar specializing in Public Policy and Public Administration. My research focuses on the implementation of public policies both in multi-level systems and at the frontline. Research interests include but are not limited to Europeanization, street-level bureaucracy, multilevel governance, private and hybrid governance, behavioral aspects of policy/regulatory design and its effects. I am an active user and teacher of case-oriented and set-theoretic methods, including Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). Empirically, I have been working on public health policy, food safety issues, migration and welfare policy. I am always keen to explore new grounds.
Since August 2015, I co-chair the Permanent Study Group XIII "Public Policy" of the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA). I also serve on the boards of EGPA, the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) and of COMPASSS, a worldwide network bringing together scholars who share an interest in a systematic comparative case approach to research. I currently serve as a co-editor of the journal Regulation & Governance.
I am on parental leave from 13.4.-31.12.2020 and neither teaching nor working in the academic year 2020/2021.
- Policy implementation, Street-level bureaucracy, Member state implementation
- Europeanization, European Integration
- Multilevel governance, problem-solving
- Regulation, governance, hybrid / private governance
- Public accountability
- Social construction of target groups, social equity, bureaucratic discrimination
- Behavioral public administration & policy
- Policy design
- Policy evaluation
- New institutionalism, institutional logics
- Food safety policy, public health policy, migration policy
- Set-theoretic methods (including Qualitative Comparative Analysis QCA), case study methods, comparative research design
I am/ have been an external examiner to the following PhD students:
Rebecca Lynn Radlick (University of Bergen, Norway)
I am/ have been an internal examiner to the following PhD students:
Nicholas Kirsop-Taylor (University of Exeter, United Kingdom)
I am/ have been first supervisor to the following PhD students:
Thibaud Deruelle (University of Exeter, UK)
Shaher Moseley (University of Exeter, UK)
Research grants, awards and fellowships
2019: International Public Policy Association, Best Book Award 2019
2018: Journal of European Public Policy Reviewer Prize
2017: Advanced Postdoc.Mobility grant, Swiss National Science Foundation
2016: Founders’ fellowship, American Society for Public Administration
2015. Early Postdoc.Mobility grant, Swiss National Science Foundation
2013: Project pool credit, University of Bern Intermediate Staff Association
American Journal of Evaluation, Comparative European Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Democratization, European Journal of Political Research, European Journal of Risk Regulation, European Policy Analysis, European Political Science Review, Evaluation, Evaluation and Program Planning, Governance, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, International Review of Administrative Sciences, JCMS Journal of Common Market Studies, JCPA Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Planning Literature, JPART Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Journal of Public Policy, Land Use Policy, Law & Policy, Policy Sciences, Policy Studies Journal, Political Science Research and Methods, Political Studies Review, Politische Vierteljahresschrift, Public Administration, Public Administration Review, Public Management Review, Public Personnel Management, Public Policy and Administration, Quality & Quantity, Regional & Federal Studies, Regulation & Governance, Social Movement Studies, The R Journal, Sociological Methods & Research, West European Politics.
Swiss National Science Foundation project expertise
I studied Political Science at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, where I graduated in 2010 under the supervision of Hanspeter Kriesi . During my studies I started to work in applied policy consultancy for the Swiss Federal Administration. This was when I "converted" to policy analysis and developed a lasting curiosity about what makes policies work in practice. I continued these commissioned research activities from 2010 to 2015 when I worked as a research assistant, policy consultant and teaching assistant at the Center of Competence for Public Management at the University of Bern, Switzerland. In February 2015 I completed my cumulative PhD in Public Administration, titled "Public policy at the frontline: a comparative perspective", summa cum laude under the supervision of Fritz Sager. During my PhD studies I also became a comparativist "by nature", inspired by the methodological training obtained during various ECPR method schools. Since Summer 2015, two career grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation enabled me to visit exciting places such as the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research, the European University Institute, and Heidelberg University where I worked with Jale Tosun. Since September 2017 I am fortunate enough to be part of the vibrant research community at Exeter University.
My current research deals with different aspects of the implementation and outcomes of public policies. One central pillar of my research is the "customization" of EU policies : I look at how member states and third countries change and interpret EU Directives when implementing them in order to adapt EU policies to local contexts and demands. I have completed two research projects about the customization of EU directives and the problem-solving capacity of the regulatory state. After developing a measure of customization that enables systematic comparisons across countries and policy sectors, I have looked into the consequences for policy outcomes. In 2019, my monograph "Customized implementation of European Union policy: United in diversity?" was published by Palgrave. In addition to my work on customization, I am currently working on a variety of topics such as behavioral aspects (e.g., the "explicitness") of policy implementation and design, discrimination in public service delivery, economic effects of migration policies, accountability and legitimacy in frontline implementation, and set-theoretic methods, amongst others.
To me, research is a collective endeavour: we're better together. That's why I am happy to take active part in several fascinating research networks. Since 2015 I co-chair the EGPA permanent study group on public policies, which serves as a platform for established and young researchers working on street-level bureaucracy in Europe and beyond. Since 2016 I am also a member of the steering committee of COMPASSS, a network bringing together scholars and practitioners working on case-based and set-theoretic comparative methods. Since 2019 I serve as VP Western Europe for the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) and as a member of the steering committee of the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA). In 2017 I co-edited a special issue about innovative approaches to multi-level implementation in the Journal of European Public Policy, and in 2019 I was co-editing two symposiums about multilevel governance and problem-solving in Public Administration and European Policy Analysis. Currently I am working on two co-edited themed / special issues on behavioural governance to appear in the Journal of European Public Policy and in Policy & Politics, as well as a co-edited special issue on Causation, correctness, and solution types in configurational comparative methods in Quality & Quantity. My network of collaborators includes researchers from all over the world. Since 2019 I serve on the editorial boards of the Journal of European Public Policy and the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis (JCPA) and I am currently a co-editor of Regulation & Governance.
I find teaching to be a rewarding experience and an important part of our mission as academics. In Exeter I am teaching a brand new BA module policy implementation (POL3089), the postgraduate modules on qualitative methods (POLM063/POLM140) and on European Union Policy and Politics (POLM154). In addition I teach the MPA module on New Public Management (POLM007M/ 209). I am also the programme convenor for the MRes in Politics.In the past I have taught or co-taught a variety of BA and MA seminars about empirical research methods, policy implementation and regulation. A large part of my teaching is extracurricular methodological training about case-oriented and set-theoretic methodology. I teach or have taught at various international methods and summer schools, amongst others the ECPR Winter School in Methods and Techniques, the Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (IQMR), and the Padova-Venezia Summer School of the International Public Policy Association (IPPA) as well as the IPPA winter school in Aussois. I am especially excited to be introducing two 1-week Summer Methods Training Courses for researchers and practitioners on the University of Exeter's scenic Cornwall campus, on Comparative Case Study Design and Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). I like the challenge of helping other researchers in developing appropriate research designs for assessing their research questions, and it keeps being a highly instructive experience, too.
If you would like to get a more extensive overview of my activities, research, biography and contributions such as blog posts, please visit my homepage www.evathomann.com.