Researcher in the spotlight: Ruud Schapenk
“It’s a major challenge for any researcher to convey the results of dense research in an accessible and almost effervescent way. However, a podcast is an excellent way to achieve that. Together with Dr. Mendeltje van Keulen, professor for The Changing Role of Europe, I developed the podcast Global Gossip. During the podcast we talk to leading public figures about international politics.”
Ruud Schapenk studied Public Administration and International Relations at Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam. He worked as an advisor in the public sector for four years after his graduation. He set up his own debate and lecture platform - Podium de Stadstaat (translation: City State podium) - and organised talk shows in Tivoli Vredenburg Utrecht about the impact of technology on our society.
He has been a lecturer in Public Administration and International Public Management at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and part of the Global Governance Centre of Expertise since 2019. Together with a team of students, he started the talk show Haagse Praat. And since the spring of 2020 he has been putting out the podcast Global Gossip with Mendeltje van Keulen. Global Gossip dissects, analyses and investigates current international affairs thoroughly, with episodes focussing on the influence of China in Europe, the United States in turbulent times or the Dutch position in Europe.
An eye for practice
As a lecturer-researcher Ruud Schapenk works at the crossroads of education and research. “Public administration and international relations is more relevant to people than they often realise themselves. Through research, you increase your theoretical knowledge. You then want to translate this into a practical output that’s interesting enough to students and to as many people in the field as possible.”
“‘The podcast Global Gossip provides a space for compelling interaction between two researchers. Mendeltje and I speak with thought-provoking guests who have a lot of knowledge of international politics such as policy makers, correspondents and researchers. We also contribute our knowledge to that conversation. This creates the practical output that you really want to achieve as a Centre of Expertise.”
Another project Ruud is working on is ‘The Administrative Map of The Hague’. The map illustrates the unique texture of the city of The Hague, where local, regional, national and international levels of government work together. “The goal of this publication is also to present complex issues to a large audience in an understandable way.”
Ruud Schapenk believes in making his research themes accessible for everyone, especially in the interaction with his students. “I want to translate the current Global Governance research themes into the curriculum. In my lectures, the practice of international governance and international politics forms the basis for discussing various theories with my students. In addition, where relevant, I invite researchers from the Centre of Expertise to give a guest lecture to my students, in the hope that these research results will find their way to students and to society.”