Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
How to find us prof. dr. R.L. (Ronald) Holzhacker

prof. dr. R.L. Holzhacker

prof. dr. R.L. Holzhacker
050 36 35986 (Faculty of Arts)
050 36 33880 (Spatial Sciences)

Prof. dr. Ronald Holzhacker, University of Groningen, the Netherlands, is Professor of Comparative Multilevel Governance and Regional Structure in the Faculty of Spatial Science, Department of Spatial Planning and Environment, and the Faculty of Arts, Department of International Relations and International Organization. He holds a PhD from the University of Michigan in political science, and a JD from the University of Minnesota Law School. He is broadly interested in questions of governance, the Sustainable Development Goals, human rights, and the interaction between civil society organizations and institutions in political systems. He is founding Director of the Groningen Research Centre for Southeast Asia and ASEAN (SEA ASEAN) located in Groningen and Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

He leads an inter-disciplinary team of scholars and 20 PhD researchers engaged in theoretically driven comparative research focused on governance, societal impact, and sustainable society in Southeast Asia.  He is published in such journals as Law & Policy, Comparative European Politics, Journal of European Integration, European Union Politics, Nations and Nationalism, Party Politics, Journal of Legislative Studies, and the Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration.

The SEA ASEAN Centre has been recently awarded an Erasmus+ grant from the EU as part of the BRECIL consortium to improve the capacity to conduct social science research in Southeast Asia (681.035 Euro). Specifically, BRECIL aims to develop human and social capital to facilitate individual learning and institutional mechanisms in social science research in higher education institutions in Malaysia and Laos. The grant will allow SEA ASEAN to play a key role in facilitating capacity building and research governance in the region.

He is co-editor of numerous books over the past decade, including Decentralization and Governance in Indonesia (New York: Springer 2016), Sustainable Development Goals in Southeast Asia: Regional and National Approaches  (Leiden, Singapore, Boston: Brill 2019), and Challenges of Governance, Development and Regional Integration in Southeast Asia and ASEAN (NY: Springer, forthcoming). A double book launch and conference was held in late October 2018 in Brussels, with key-note speakers from the EU, ASEAN, and UN ESCAP. He is a frequent visitor to the region, delivering lectures and meeting with scholars at the Southeast Asia and ASEAN centres at the leading universities in the region.


  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Ph.D., Political Science, August 1997, ABD with Honors, May 1994

Dissertation: "Party Competition and Strategic Responses to Change in the Electoral Environment: The German Broad-based Parties after Reunification."

Principal supervisors: Ronald Inglehart (Michigan), Holli Semetko (Michigan, Amsterdam),

Max Kaase (WZB – Berlin).

  • University of Minnesota Law School J.D. Honors: Cum Laude, December 1987

Research Thesis: "Fundamental Rights in the European Community."

  • University of London, King's College Academic year abroad 1986/87, LLM Program (King’s, LSE, UCL)

Coursework:  European Community Law, International Business Transactions, and Jurisprudence.

  • University of Minnesota, College of Liberal Arts, B.A., Honors : Magna Cum Laude, June 1983, Majors: Political Science and Economics. Honors Thesis in international relations: ‘The Permanent Neutrality of Austria - Restraint and Opportunity’ based on interviews in Vienna with political, ministerial, and embassy officials.


  • Professor, University of Groningen, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, Department of Planning and Environment, Comparative Multilevel Governance and Regional Structure, Ubbo Emmius Foundation Endowed Chair, 1/1/ 2016 to present.
  • University of Groningen, Department of International Relations and International Organization (IRIO), Faculty of Arts, Associate Professor, Comparative Political Science and International Relations. April 2011-present
  • University of Twente, The Netherlands, Faculty of Management and Public Administration, Department of Political Science and Research Methods, European Studies,Tenured (since 2003) Assistant Professor 10/98 – 3/2011
  • University College Utrecht, Fellow and Head of Department for Political Science and International Relations
    2002-2008, taught International Comparative Democracy at the international liberal arts honors college of the University of Utrecht.  Head of the political science and international relations department.  
  • University of Michigan, Lecturer, Academic Year 1997/98, Teaching Assistant and Research Associate, 9/90 - 6/94 and 9/96 - 6/97.
  • Doherty, Rumble & Butler, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Washington D.C., Lawyer, 9/88-1/90 Admitted to the Bar in Minnesota and Washington D.C. Practice in corporate and commercial law.                                            
  • Mondale for President Committee, Professional Field Staff, Political Organizer, 9/83 - 7/84 Political organizer in Chicago and Philadelphia. Responsible for coalition building, fundraising, event planning, media outreach to groups and local politicians, and overall coordination of three congressional districts during the 1984 campaign.


  • Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, European and EU Centre, fellowship for research study to compare national human rights institutions in the Asia Pacific and European regions, May-June 2013.
  • Columbia University, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Visiting Scholar, research sabbatical, Spring Term, NY, 2010.
  • Jean Monnet Fellowship, European University Institute (EUI), Awarded fellowship for research sabbatical at the European University Institute, Robert Schumann Centre for Advanced Studies, Florence. Research on multi-level strategies of civil society organizations in the member states and the European Union striving for anti-discrimination. 1/06-6/06.
  • Visiting Scholar, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB), Dissertation research funded by the German Academic Exchange Service/ Fulbright at the WZB under the direction of Prof. Dr. Max Kaase and Prof. Dr. Hans-Dieter Klingemann, Berlin, 8/94-7/96.
  • German Bundestag Internship Program, Fellowship to study at the University of Bonn and to intern for a Member of Parliament from Eastern Germany in the Bundestag, Bonn 9/92 - 6/93.
  • Manfred Wörner Seminar, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Invited by the U.S. State Department to join a delegation to attend this program in Bonn and Berlin designed to examine German and European security policy and discuss common U.S. - German security interests, 10/89.



Sustainable Development Goals in Southeast Asia and ASEAN: National and Regional Approaches, co-edited with Dafri Agus Salim, Gadjah Mada University, with contributing professors from across Southeast Asia, Singapore: Brill 2019.

 Challenges of Governance in Southeast Asia and ASEAN, co-edited with Wendy Tan, with PhD candidate contributors from the SEA ASEAN research centre from Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand,  New York: Springer 2020 forthcoming.            

Governance and Decentralization in Indonesia, with Rafael Wittek and Johan Woltjer, NY: Springer, 2016.

Freedom, Security, and Justice in the European Union: Internal and External Dimensions of Increased Cooperation after the Lisbon Treaty, co-edited with Paul Luif, Austrian Institute for International Affairs, Springer NY, 2014.

The Transnationalization of Economies, States, and Civil Societies: New Challenges for Governance in Europe,co-edited with Laszlo Bruszt (European University Institute), Springer NY 2009.

Democratic Governance and European Integration: Linking Societal and State Processes of Democracy, co-edited with Erik Albaek (University of Southern Denmark), Edward Elgar, UK, 2007.

European Research Reloaded: Cooperation and Integration among Europeanized States, co-edited with Markus Haverland (Leiden), Springer NY 2006.

EDITOR SPECIAL JOURNAL ISSUE ‘Democratic Legitimacy and the European Union,’ a special issue of The Journal of European Integration,’ vol. 29, no. 3, 2007.


‘Human Rights Norm Diffusion in Southeast Asia: Roles of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Ending Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines’ with Stanati Netipatalachoochote, Journal of Southeast Asian Human Rights, 2018.

‘Framing the Debate: The Evolution of the European Union as an External Democratization Actor’co-authored with Marek Neuman, in the book Democracy Promotion and the Normative Power Europe Framework (NY, Springer 2018)

‘Bargaining between local governments and multinational corporations in a decentralised system of governance: the cases of Ogan Komering Ilir and Banyuwangi districts in Indonesia’, with Kuswanto and Herman Hoen, Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, September 2017.

‘Decentralization and Primary Health Care Innovations in Indonesia’ with Suwatin Miharti, chapter in Decentralization and Governance in Indonesia, editors Ronald Holzhacker, Rafael Wittek, and Johan Woltjer, New York: Springer, 2016.

‘Decentralization, Foreign Direct Investment and Development in Indonesia’ with K. Kuswanto and Herman Hoen, chapter in Decentralization and Governance in Indonesia, editors Ronald Holzhacker, Rafael Wittek, and Johan Woltjer, New York: Springer, 2016.

‘Environmental Governance with Transnational Municipal Networks: The Case of Indonesian Cities,’ with Annisa Paramita Wiharani, chapter in Decentralization and Governance in Indonesia, editors Ronald Holzhacker, Rafael Wittek, and Johan Woltjer, New York: Springer, 2016.

‘Corporate Governance and Corruption: A Comparative Study of South-East Asia,’ with Nureni Wijati and Niels Hermes, chapter in Decentralization and Governance in Indonesia, editors Ronald Holzhacker, Rafael Wittek, and Johan Woltjer, New York: Springer, 2016.

‘Gay Rights are Human Rights: The framing of new interpretations of international human rights norms’ chapter in George Andreopoulos and Zehra Arat (eds.) The Uses and Misuses of human rights: A Critical Approach to Advocacy. London, NY, Palgrave MacMillan, 2014.

‘State-Sponsored Homophobia and the Denial of the Right of Assembly in Central and Eastern Europe: The ‘boomerang’ and the ‘ricochet’ between European organization and civil society to uphold human rights,’ Law & Policy, Issue 1-2, 35, March 2013.

‘National and transnational strategies of LGBT civil society organizations in different political environments: Modes of Interaction in Western and Eastern Europe for Equality,’9:4 Comparative European Politics, February 2012.

‘Transnational Strategies of Civil Society Groups Striving for Equality and Non-discrimination: Exchanging information on new EU directives, coalition strategies, and strategic litigation,’ in Transnationalization of Economies, States, and Civil Societies: New Challenges for Governance in Europe, Springer, 2009.

Bonding, Bridging and Ethnic Minorities in the Netherlands: Changing discourses in a changing nation’ with Peter Scholten, Nations and Nationalism, vol. 15:1, 2009.

'Parliamentary Scrutiny over European Union Decision-Making in the Netherlands' in G. Barrett (ed.), Ireland, Europe and the Challenge of Democracy - Ensuring Democratic Control over Government Affairs in the European Union, Institute of European Affairs, Dublin, February 2008.

‘National Parliaments,’ in Paolo Graziano and Maarten Vink, eds. Europeanization: New Research Agendas, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

‘National Parliamentary Scrutiny: Comparing Rules, Institutions, and Party Behavior” in Democratic Governance and European Integration, Edward Elgar, 2007.

‘National Election Campaigns and European Issues,’ with Andrea Römmele in Democratic Governance and European Integration, Edward Elgar, 2007.

National Parliamentary Scrutiny of EU Decision-Making:  The Role of Opposition Parties’ Journal of Legislative Studies, 11 (3/4), 2005.

‘National Parliamentary Scrutiny over EU Issues: The Goals and Methods of Governing and Opposition Parties,’ European Union Politics, vol. 3/4, Dec. 2002.

Public Opinion Information and Campaign Strategies: An American Case Study,” chapter in Public Information Campaigns and Opinion Research, edited by Hans-Dieter Klingemann and Andrea Roemmele, Sage Publications, 2002.

‘Campaign Communication and Strategic Responses to Change in the Electoral Environment: Germany after Reunification,’ Party Politics, Vol. 5(4) 1999.

‘The Struggle for Rights in Labor Unions in Germany,’ chapter in Laboring for Rights: Unions and Sexual Diversity Across Nations, ed. Gerald Hunt, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1999.

‘Party Competition and Strategic Responses to Change in the Electoral Environment: The German Broad-based Parties after Reunification,’ University of Michigan dissertation (Ann Arbor: UMI, 1997).


EU Erasmus +BRECIL – Building Social Science Research Capacities in Higher Education Institutions in Lao PDR and Malaysia (EPLUS-CBHE-UM-2017-GRON-005) 2017-2020

Consortium of consisting of 2 Universities in Malaysia, 2 in Laos, and one university in each of Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.  Euro 681,035 (Groningen 71,313).

European Commission, DG Justice, Senior EU expert, ‘Knowledge-based analysis and policy advice in the antidiscrimination field and the EU 2020 Strategy’ Organized by Milieu, Law & Policy Consulting, Brussels, conducting policy oriented research on the implementation of the EU’s anti-discrimination directives, reporting to the European Commission, DG Justice,  2.1 million Euros over 3 years, for 4 senior EU experts leading 28 national experts (2014-2016).

Laatst gewijzigd:28 oktober 2019 14:16

Contact information

Landleven 1
9747 AD Groningen
The Netherlands

Contact information

Job title:
Associate Professor
+31 50 36 35986 (Faculty of Arts)
+31 50 36 33880 (Spatial Sciences)