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Speedy strategy

Faced with the task of deciding how to spend €10 million on the social sciences and humanities in four months, Mark Bovens picked law as the field with the most impact potential. He talks to Martine Segers about strategic planning in the fast lane.

The pressure was on for Mark Bovens, a professor of public administration at Utrecht University. On 1 August, he was appointed by the government to create a strategic plan for the social sciences and humanities in the Netherlands. The deadline: 1 December.

In the spring, the government under prime minister Mark Rutte had allocated €10m to fortifying the country’s social sciences and humanities research. Bovens now had four months to make some hard choices. Should he advise the government to give each faculty a little bit of extra money? Or was there another way to generate high impact, for example by spending the extra funds on digitisation?

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