Magna Cum Laude Doctor's Title for Patrick Huntjens, 17 November 2010, Osnabrück University

Patrick Huntjens finalized a PhD-thesis (magna cum laude / with high distinction) in Complex System Sciences / Public Administration and Policy at the University of Osnabrück in Germany. The title of the thesis is 'Water Management and Water Governance in a Changing Climate - Experiences and Insights on Climate Change Adaptation in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia'.

His international research on water governance and climate change adaptation was executed in nine river basins in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, and was funded by the European research project NeWater (

His PhD-thesis provides an evidence-based and policy relevant contribution to understanding the phenomenon of policy learning and its structural constraints in the field of river basin management, in particular related to climate change adaptation. A substantial part of the discussion revolves around the need to fine balance bottom up approaches with centralized control.

Additionally, an important part of his work comprises the development of institutional design principles for adaptation processes in complex governance systems.

For the latter he has worked in the past few years with Prof. Dr. Elinor Ostrom, the first woman who received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2009.

The members of the PhD-committee were:

Prof. Dr. Claudia Pahl-Wost (first supervisor)
Professor for Resources Management - an endowed chair of the German Environmental Foundation Institute of Environmental Systems Research (USF), University of Osnabrück, Germany

Prof. Dr. John Grin (second supervisor)
Professor for Policy Sciences and System Innovations Department of Political Science, University of Amterdam

Prof. Dr. Katrien Termeer
Professor for Public Administration and Policy Group, Wageningen University

Dr. Carolin Rettig
Institute of Environmental Systems Research (USF), University of Osnabrück