Who we are – the NRW School of Governance

Prof. Dr. Karl-Rudolf Korte - Direktor der NRW School of Governance

Prof. Dr. Karl-Rudolf Korte – Director of the NRW School of Governance

by Karl-Rudolf Korte

The NRW School of Governance is a professional school located at the University of Duisburg-Essen. It is based at the Institute of Political Science. The NRW School of Governance is an initiative for the promotion of excellence in research and education in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). Interdisciplinary joint appointments are a core component of the Professional School. Scientists with a background in social sciences and public administration as well as lawyers and economists are integrated in the wide range of research and teaching activities offered by the NRW School of Governance.

We provide answers to the transformation of statehood: research in and teaching of conceptual knowledge in modern governance. Within close reach of some of the most influential centers of political power in Europe, namely the Ruhrgebiet, one of the most densely populated areas in Europe, and the parliaments of Dusseldorf, Berlin and Brussels we strive for excellence in applied research.

The manifold activities of the NRW School of Governance can be categorized into three main sections:

  1. The Master’s program “Political Management, Public Policy and Public Administration”;
  2. The Graduate school and postgraduate programs;
  3. Teaching and Qualification.

A common standard is shared by Governance Schools worldwide: the recognition of the importance of the link between theory and practice, the interaction of scientific expertise and its practical appliance. At the NRW School of Governance we oblige to this standard as well as to the criteria of multidisciplinary scientific excellence, as for example laid out by the DFG (the German Research Foundation). Qualitative standards are provided foremost in these areas: the quality of research, the quality in teaching and the quality of the transfer of knowledge.

The Institute for Political Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen provides a solid foundation for quality in these three areas. First of all the institute offers a wide range of different theories and research perspectives in political science. It also, secondly, offers various established degree programs. The NRW School of Governance adds a third perspective to this excellent foundation: applied Science. The following criteria form the foundations of our research

Excogitated applied science
Applied Science implies a clear link to professional fields. The knowledge of professional practices in these fields is a prerequisite for academic excellence. One of the main goals of the NRW School of Governance is to improve public policy making. Therefore we strive to engage and interact with the political community. Our cooperation partners equip us with the possibility to identify current and future political issues which we derive into new research fields. Applied science also requires the ability to scientifically reflect upon professional practices and to identify suitable theories and methods for the analysis of such practices.

Networking with decision-makers and political institutions
Scientific policy advice – as offered by the NRW School of Governance – requires a strong applied perspective in research as well as the ability to actively network with professionals in the political field. Quantitative indicators of excellence – such as quantity, volume and demand for our advice – go hand in hand with our strong networking capabilities with political actors and institutions (e.g. governmental institutions, parliaments, political parties, international and non-governmental organizations, associations, agencies, think tanks and companies). We generate expertise through our scientific policy advice which is, in turn, utilised for our teaching curricula.

Knowledge transfer and public reputation
At the NRW School of Governance we believe that excellent research should be received by a broader public – and not just an academic audience. The frequent transfer of research via popular media outlets – whether that is television, radio, online platforms or magazines and newspapers – to non-specialists, non- research-based organizations and non-university audiences is another factor of academic excellence. We believe that science has an obligation to make research results available to a broader public, therefore, we recognize active participation in public discourses as an academic performance.

Academic Sponsoring and matching Funds
We are dedicated to applied research. Yet, applied research is cost intensive and dependent on external funding. The NRW School of Governance is funded by a variety of companies, foundations and ministries. Through public and private partnerships our funds are diversified and exclusive. However, in all of our partnerships we offer a concrete and customised research contextualisation as well as efficiency and a guarantee for the relevance of the research provided. We ensure scientific independence through matching funds in all our partnerships

At the NRW School of Governance we supersede the academic division of theory and practice: Whenever possible we foster the simultaneous involvement of practitioners and researchers in joint research and teaching projects. Another criterion for excellence is the success of our graduates in the job market. We do not pursue basic but rather appropriate problem-oriented research, wherein the highest scientific standards are met, which enables our graduates to take on demanding positions in politics, public administration, media and the economy.

The NRW School of Governance at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Duisburg-Essen
The Institute of Political Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen is the largest institute for political science in North Rhine-Westphalia. It offers a diverse range of research fields and teaching activities. A good balance between basic and specialized research is provided. In addition to an undergraduate bachelor’s program, the institute furthermore offers three master programs, each with a different emphasis: “Policy Management, Public Policy and Public Administration”, “International Relations and Development” and “Development and Governance ” (DAAD Master). The research profile “Global, Regional and Modern Democratic Governance“ amalgamates the various disciplines and perspectives offered by the Insitute of Political Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

The Institute of Political Science is fully integrated into the Faculty of Social Sciences which also incorporates the Institute of Sociology, the Research Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) and the Research Institute for Labour and Qualification (IAQ). The Faculty of Social Sciences is characterized by a broad spectrum of research with numerous options for specialization for its students. It is one of the largest social science faculties in Germany. Approximately 190 scientists, including 29 professors, work at the faculty; over 3,500 students are enrolled in the degrees provided by the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Duisburg-Essen.



Markus HoffmannDipl.-Soz.-Wiss. Markus Hoffmann

General Manager of the NRW School of Governance
Tel.: +49 (0) 203/379-1302
Mail: markus.hoffmann@uni-due.de