Professor dr Pieter (Peter) Lodewijk Hupe

School of Social Policy
Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Peter Hupe is interested in the ways public actors fulfill public tasks. From a comparative perspective he has a particular focus on discretion as controlled freedom. How do 'professionals in public service' deal with such freedom and what does that mean for governmental performance?


  • Visiting Professor, Public Governance Institute, KU Leuven
  • Visiting Fellow, Michaelmas Term 2012-2013, All Souls College, Oxford
  • Associate Professor, Dept. of Public Administration and Sociology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 2000-2017
  • Assistant Professor, Dept. of Public Administration, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 1986-2000
  • Head of Dept. of Public-Administrative Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, The Hague, 1984-1986
  • Policy adviser, Directorate of General Policy Planning, Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, The Hague, 1978-1984
  • (Conscripted) Officer in the Dutch Royal Army, Royal Military Academy, Breda, 1977-1978
  • PhD in Political Science, Leiden University, 1992
  • MSc in Political Science, Free University Amsterdam, 1976 (cum laude)


After university and military service, Peter Hupe chose a career as a policymaker in the Dutch national civil service. There he became socialized in the art and craft of policy formation and also discovered the relevance of policy implementation. He made that choice for public service, having a master’s degree in Political Science (cum laude, Free University Amsterdam) and before obtaining a doctorate at Leiden University. At Erasmus University Rotterdam he taught and undertook research in Public Administration for more than thirty years. From that institutional basis he had academic affiliations in Leiden, Leuven, London, Oxford and Potsdam. Retired from his position in Rotterdam, he currently is Visiting Professor at the Public Governance Institute, KU Leuven, Belgium and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham, UK.


In an academic career spanning more than thirty years Peter Hupe has designed and taught numerous courses, with a focus on a variety of topics of public policy, public administration and political science.

Postgraduate supervision

Membership of international PhD committees

  • Rotterdam (Nadine van Engen, summer, 2018)
  • Bergen (Rebecca Lynn Radlick, May 24-25, 2018)
  • Rotterdam (Nadine Raaphorst, October 12, 2017)
  • Bergen (Daniel Kipo, November 3-4, 2016)
  • Leuven (Liesbeth Van Parys, October 27, 2016)
  • Leuven (Gianluca Ferraro, October 21, 2010)
  • Leuven (Christophe Pelgrims, March 19, 2008)
  • Southern Cross University, Australia (Allan Dale Putland 2013; written procedure)
  • Lausanne (Aurélien Buffat, September 15, 2011)
  • Utrecht (Annemarije Oosterwaal, July 1, 2011)
  • Twente (Tanja Woeltjes, June 25, 2010)
  • Paris (Marie-Pierre Hamel, December 7, 2009)


The major part of Peter Hupe’s research concerns the theoretical-empirical study of the policy process, particularly policy implementation and street-level bureaucracy. He is especially interested in the work of professionals in public service and the consequences of their modes of working for government performance. 

 Current projects

  • Theory formation on the usage of discretion in public service
  • Comparative street-level bureaucracy research


Selection of publications:

Hupe, P.L. (ed.) (2019) Research Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy: The Ground Floor of Government in Context. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Evans, T.A. and P.L. Hupe (eds) (2019) Discretion and the Quest for Controlled Freedom. Houndsmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hupe, P.L., M.J. Hill and A. Buffat (eds) (2015) Understanding Street-Level Bureaucracy. Bristol: Policy Press.

Hill M.J. and P.L. Hupe (2014; third, revised, edition) Implementing Public Policy: An Introduction to the Study of Operational Governance. London: Sage. Second edition 2009, first edition 2002. Also a Chinese translation of the book was published.

Hupe, P.L. and M.J. Hill (2016) ‘And the Rest is Implementation.’ Comparing Approaches to What Happens in Policy Processes Beyond Great Expectations. Public Policy and Administration 31(2): 103–121.

Hupe, P.L. (2014) What Happens on the Ground: Persistent Issues in Implementation Research. Public Policy and Administration, 29(2) (April): 164-182.

Hupe, P.L. (2013) Dimensions of Discretion: Specifying the Object of Street-Level Bureaucracy Research, dms – der moderne staat -Zeitschrift fûr Public Policy, Recht und Management, 6 (2): 425-40.

Pollitt, C. and P.L. Hupe (2011) Talking about Government: The Role of Magic Concepts. Public Management Review, 13(5) (June): 641-58.