Professor Christian Schuster
I am a Professor in Public Management in the UCL Department of Political Science and Academic Co-Director of the UCL Policy Lab.
My core research interest is in data analytics and civil service management: using data from original surveys, administrative records and field experiments for more evidence-based management of public servants. I frequently collaborate with governments and international organizations – such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank – in this research, and my research has led a range of government organizations to change and improve management practices.
My work has been published in over 70 publications with, among others, the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Administration Review, Public Administration, International Public Management Journal, Governance, Regulation & Governance, World Development, Comparative Political Studies, the European Journal of Political Research, the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and several national governments. It has received over £1.5m in grant funding from research funding bodies and international organisations, and has won the 2018 Haldane Prize for the best article published in Public Administration. My latest books are The Government Analytics Handbook: Leveraging Data to Strengthen Public Administration (World Bank 2023, co-edited with Dan Rogger) and Motivating Public Employees (Cambridge University Press 2019, co-authored with Marc Esteve).
Previously, I was an Associate Professor and an Assistant Professor in the UCL Department of Political Science, a Visiting Scholar at Sciences Po, the LSE Fellow in Political Science and Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), a Visiting Research Scholar in the Research Department of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and an Economist with the World Bank. I received my PhD in Government from LSE.
My current and recent research projects on people analytics and people management in government include:
- ‘The Global Survey of Public Servants’ – a joint initiative with colleagues from the World Bank Bureaucracy Lab, the Stanford Governance Project (led by Francis Fukuyama), as well as Jan-Meyer Sahling (Nottingham) and Kim Mikkelsen (Roskilde) to undertake the world’s largest cross-country survey of civil servants and encourage governments to adopt civil service surveys as management instruments.
- ‘Training Executives to Enhance Employee Engagement in Government: Field Experimental Evidence from Luxembourg’ (2022-2025) – a GBP640,000 ESCR-FNR-funded project (with Ludivine Martin, Jan Meyer-Sahling and Kim Mikkelsen) to assess in a field experiment whether executive engagement training enhances employee engagement in government.
- ‘Making Civil Services Work in Developing Countries’ (2016-2018) – a GBP400,000 British Academy-UK DFID funded project (co-led with Jan Meyer Sahling) to understand the effects of management practices on the attitudes and behaviors of public servants in developing countries. View a summary of results.
- ‘Do Ethics Trainings Enhance Integrity in Government?’ (2019-2021) – a GBP350,000 Global Integrity-UK DFID-funded project (co-led with Jan Meyer Sahling and Kim Mikkelsen) to assess with a multi-country field experiment whether ethics trainings of public servants enhance integrity in government.
- ‘Management Practices in National Statistical Offices in Latin America’ (2019-2021) – an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-funded project (with Jose Antonio Mejia, Jan Meyer-Sahling and Kim Mikkelsen) to survey public officials in National Statistical Offices (NSOs) across Latin America and the Caribbean to better understand management practices and their effectiveness in NSOs.
I teach principally within the MPA in Public Administration and Management. My teaching responsibilities typically include ‘Governance and Public Management’ (MPA core course) and ‘Policy Advice’ (MPA elective). I have won UCL’s Education Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education at UCL as well as the School of Public Policy’s Departmental Teaching Prize for Outstanding Teaching for my course teaching and work as the Department’s Director of Education (2017-20).
I welcome expressions of interest from potential PhD students in the areas of civil service management and/or (anti-)corruption in government, with a preference for quantitative dissertations. I am particularly keen to hear from potential PhD students interested in people analytics in government.