Bert Fraussen's research agenda focuses on interest representation and lobbying, as well as how policymakers can ensure the effective and inclusive engagement of societal stakeholders in public governance.
My research and teaching focuses on lobbying and interest representation. I study the internal organization and development of political organizations, such as interest groups and think tanks, and for instance analyze how these organizations change over time, the way in which they involve their members, or how they determine their policy agenda. At the same time, my research also examines the different ways in which interest groups and think tanks engage with policymakers in order to shape public policy. A key question here is how policymakers can ensure the inclusive and effective engagement of societal stakeholders in public governance.
I believe that it is important to connect academic research with the perspectives of practitioners and the challenges they face. For this reason , I co-founded the Policy Advocacy Lab together with Professor Darren Halpin (Australian National University) and Dr Herschel Thomas (University of Texas at Arlington). The Policy Advocacy Lab is a platform through which we engage in research-led education, organize workshops with practitioners and contribute to public debates. In 2019, I also co-organized the first "Night of the Lobbyist" in The Hague in collaboration with a Public Affairs Agency. The aim of this annual event is to facilitate and encourage discussions about lobbying among scientists, public affairs professionals, policymaker, journalists and students.
I also write a regular “Research in the Spotlight” Column in Community, the professional magazine of the Belgian Society of Association Executives, in which I discuss recent academic publications and clarify their implications for practitioners. In addition, I regularly provide Workshops and Masterclasses to advocacy groups, public affairs professionals and public officials. Fundamental research provides the foundation for all these activities, which I consider as unique opportunities to disseminate research findings and to learn from practitioners.
I am a member of the Editorial Board of Interest Groups & Advocacy, the official journal of the Political Organizations and Parties section of the American Political Science Association. Furthermore, I am a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Political Science at the University of Antwerp. I hold degrees in Global Management (Antwerp Management School), Public Administration (KU Leuven) and Political Science (University of Antwerp). From 2006 until 2008, I worked part-time as an assistant to a Member of the European Parliament.