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Madalina Busuioc appointed professor

12 November 2021
Madalina Busuioc has been appointed Professor of Collaborative Governance at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science and Public Administration.

Busuioc is an expert on topics of regulatory governance and public accountability. Her research areas are a natural fit for the chair on Collaborative Governance, Busuioc explains: “I study how public organisations build and sustain authority in governance. Public organisations are co-dependent on external stakeholders for knowledge, resources, capacity and even the very authority they need to secure compliance to address increasingly complex societal problems.”

Another core topic of Busuioc’s research is public accountability. “Increasingly, as interactions between citizens and public institutions are shaped by algorithms, my work has also turned towards exploring the implications of AI systems. As we have seen recently with the Toeslagenaffaire, questions of transparency, oversight and the regulation of artificial intelligence are at the forefront of such debates.”

Busuioc spent her early academic career in the Netherlands – she completed her PhD cum laude at Utrecht University (2010), followed by a post-doc at the University of Amsterdam. Busuioc: “I spent the next five years in the UK, first as post-doc at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and subsequently as Associate Professor at the University of Exeter. I moved back to the Netherlands in 2017, as Associate Professor at Leiden University, where I lead as principal investigator of a large European Research Council (ERC) grant.” Most recently, Busuioc was awarded the Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. There, she researches the use of artificial intelligence algorithms in administrative settings and the implications of these developments for public accountability.

Busuioc is very excited about her first full professor appointment. “I moved to the Netherlands from Romania when I was 18, on a merit scholarship from Utrecht University College to carry out my Bachelor’s studies. Becoming a full professor at a leading university in the Netherlands two decades later, on a personal level, completes the circle. As a first-generation academic and an immigrant, the path has not always been an easy one, but I have found support from colleagues and mentors along the way and I certainly hope to do the same for others in my role as full professor. I plan to build a strong chair group on the issues I highlighted – to help sustain and further grow our research and education on these topics while at the same time cultivating close connections with already established research lines in the department.”

With the chair in Collaborative Governance, the Department of Political Science and Public Administration aims to expand the current New Public Governance (NPG) research programme into promising new research areas. Head of the department Professor Gjalt de Graaf is delighted with Busuioc's appointment. "She is an inspiring lecturer and has an impressive track record in terms of publications and grants. But above all, her research on regulatory governance and the public value accountability and algorithmic governance - a very topical subject - is a wonderful addition and expansion to our existing research programme, which can be characterised as normative, inspired and critical," said De Graaf. "We also have high expectations of her leadership role as professor including the guidance of our young, promising talents."