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Abstract

The overall goal of the project is to examine the opportunities and pitfalls involved in using experimental approaches for promoting institutional innovations in the domains of fiscal and financial policy. The project addresses the following research questions: What are the main expected benefits and challenges of using experimental approaches more extensively in the domains of fiscal and financial policy? How successful have been the previous or ongoing experiments in those policy areas? How to improve the use of experimental approaches in fiscal and financial policy-making?

Research field: Public Administration
Supervisors: Ringa Raudla
Külli Sarapuu
Availability: This position is available.
Offered by: School of Business and Governance
Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance
Application deadline:Applications are accepted between May 03, 2021 00:00 and May 31, 2021 23:59 (Europe/Zurich)

Description

Description
In light of the fast technological, social and environmental changes and growing complexity of the policy environment, policy-makers face increasing challenges and dilemmas in terms of what kinds of institutional innovations are needed in the domains of financial and fiscal policies to address these developments. At the same time, in order to promote institutional innovations, governments are increasingly looking into using experimental approaches to policy-making. Utilizing experimental approaches in policy-making can potentially provide useful insights about the reactions of actors to innovative instruments, shed light on their possible effects and indicate capacities needed for successful scaling up.
The goal of this PhD project is to examine the use of experimental approaches to policy-making in the domains of fiscal and financial policy. Specifically, the project should examine the benefits, risks, opportunities and implications of using experimental approaches for promoting institutional innovations in the domains of fiscal and financial policy.  The thesis should address the following questions: 1) How successful have been the previous or ongoing experiments and institutional innovations in fiscal and financial policy areas? 2) What are the main lessons about the success factors? 3) What are the best practices in making use of experimental approaches in fiscal and financial domains? 4) Which capabilities are needed to manage stakeholder relations in networks emerging around experiments? 

Responsibilities and tasks
During the PhD research, the student should:

  • Compile an analytical framework for examining experimental approaches to policy-making in fiscal and financial domains
  • Map possible case studies about the use of experimental approaches and institutional innovations in fiscal and financial policy domains
  • Collect data and conduct case studies on the selected cases on experimental approaches and institutional innovations
  • Contribute to comparative data collection by conducting interviews
  • Develop reform proposals and suggestions for practice
  • Contribute to the organization of research and practitioner workshops where project findings are presented

During the project, the PhD candidate will have the opportunity to expand on these tasks. 

Qualifications
A successful PhD candidate should preferably have: 

  • a master’s degree in social sciences (preferably in public administration, political science or economics)
  • a clear interest in the topic of the position
  • excellent command of English
  • strong and demonstrable writing and analytical skills
  • capacity to work both as an independent researcher and as part of an international team
  • capacity and willingness to provide assistance in organizational tasks relevant to the project

The candidate should submit a research plan for the topic, including the overall research and data collection strategy. The candidate can expand on the listed research questions and tasks, and propose theoretical lenses to be used. 

We offer:

  • 4-year PhD position in one of the largest, most internationalized and leading social science research centers in Estonia with a large portfolio of ongoing pan-European and national public administration, digital governance and innovation studies projects
  • The chance to do high-level research in one of the most dynamic digital government contexts globally
  • Opportunities for conference visits, research stays and networking with globally leading universities and research centers in the fields of public administration, innovation studies and digital government

About the organization
The Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance (RND) is an interdisciplinary research center of Tallinn University of Technology that focuses on socially relevant and future-oriented research and teaching issues: 

  • models and practices of governance and public administration globally
  • fiscal governance and fiscal bureaucracies
  • e-governance and digital transformation of societies: datafication, public services and state-citizen relations in the digital era, smart cities and digital public services and cross-border collaboration
  • P2P technologies, its' governance and potential new production models
  • science and innovation policies and its' management
  • philosophy and ethics of science and technology.

RND is a highly internationalised department and engages some of the top international thinkers and researchers in its research fields. Next to a fully English taught PhD degree it offers a MA degree in Technology Governance and Digital Transformations, and a unique Erasmus Mundus joint MSc programme in Public Sector Innovation and e-Governance in cooperation with KU Leuven (Belgium) and University of Münster (Germany). RND and its staff have coordinated or been involved in a multitude of international research projects with the EU (INTERREG, COST, FP7, H2020), UN (UNDP), OECD (SIGMA), INET, and have participated in various European Commission working groups (the EU's Lisbon Agenda Group, Expert Group on Managing Risks in Public Technology Procurement, Expert Group on Public Sector Innovation). Recently RND initiated a major, 32 MEUR international R&D project on Smart Cities (FinestTwins). RND is also engaged in several international associations, such as the European Master in Public Administration program (EMPA), European Inter-University Association on Society, Science and Technology (ESST), and the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA) where RND coordinates the Permanent Study Group on Public Administration, Technology and Innovation.

Additional information
For further information, please contact Prof Ringa Raudla ringa.raudla@taltech.ee and Prof. Külli Sarapuu kylli.sarapuu@taltech.ee or visit https://www.taltech.ee/en/nurkse