Department Environmental Social Sciences

Policy Analysis and Environmental Governance (PEGO)


Prof. Dr. Karin IngoldGroup leader, Cluster: PEGOTel. +41 58 765 5676Send Mail
Dr. Manuel FischerGroup leader, Cluster: PEGOTel. +41 58 765 5676Send Mail

Research in the cluster Policy Analysis and Environmental Governance (PEGO) is driven by current complex environmental and societal challenges. These include the integration of different aspects of water resource management; the drivers and impacts of climate change; and the transition toward a clean energy system.

We utilize policy process theories, institutional analysis and multi-level governance frameworks to study a wide variety of substantial issues. Typical examples are

  • innovative and effective policy design,
  • instrument choice under uncertainty,
  • the integration of actors from different spatial scales or levels and stages of the policy process.

We adopt a strong methodological focus on approaches that analyze and model social networks. We combine these approaches with other quantitative and qualitative methods such as discourse analysis, qualitative comparative analysis and multicriteria decision analysis.

PEGO holds an affiliation to the Chair of Environmental Policy Analysis at the University of Bern.


New textbook on Swiss environmental politics by Karin Ingold et al.

Karin Ingold et al. (2016) published „Umweltpolitik der Schweiz – ein Lehrbuch“. This textbook provides an introduction to Policy Analysis and describes the characteristics of processes, contents and institutional settings of Switzerland’s environmental politics. Furthermore, it focuses on the aspects of politics and discusses the concept of policy. Some examples of environmental relevant policy fields like water protection policy or climate policy help to illustrate Switzerland’s environmental politics.

Special issue in Environmental Policy and Governance co-edited by PEGO

PEGO co-edited a special issue with six contributions and case studies about the issue of transboundary and integrated water resources management in the Environmental Policy and Governance Journal. The special issue originated in a afruitful exchange with international scholars at the ECPR Conferencein Bordeaux in the year 2013. Out of this experience, a special issue developed and now comprises case studies from the Global North and the Global South. The special issue is dedicated to the issues of collaborative governance, policy integration and transboundary water management. This latest issue of Environmental Policy and Governance is available on


Identification and Integration of Fragmented Games in Swiss Water Politics
Effective design of micropollution regulation
Policy forums in water and environmental governance
Local climate change adaptation strategies
Impact of distant socio-ecological systems (telecoupling) on land-use decision-making
Challenges of (mis)fit between collaborative governance systems and aquatic ecosystems


Prof. Dr. Karin IngoldGroup leader, Cluster: PEGOTel. +41 58 765 5676Send Mail
Dr. Manuel FischerGroup leader, Cluster: PEGOTel. +41 58 765 5676Send Mail
Dr. Simon MaagPostdoc, Cluster: PEGOTel. +41 58 765 6451Send Mail
Laurence BrandenbergerPhD Student, Cluster: PEGOTel. +41 58 765 5598Send Mail
Mario AngstPhD Student, Cluster: PEGOTel. +41 58 765 5391Send Mail
Lorenz KammermannPhD Student, Cluster: PEGOTel. +41 58 765 5927Send Mail

Former Team Members


Publications 2018

Ingold, K.; Moser, A.; Metz, F.; Herzog, L.; Bader, H.-P.; Scheidegger, R.; Stamm, C. (2018) Misfit between physical affectedness and regulatory embeddedness: thecase of drinking water supply along the Rhine River, Global Environmental Change, 48, 136-150, doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2017.11.006, Institutional Repository

Publications 2017

Fischer, M.; Schläpfer, I. (2017) Metagovernance and policy forum outputs in Swiss environmental politics, Environmental Politics, 1-23, doi:10.1080/09644016.2017.1284981, Institutional Repository
Leifeld, P.; Wankmüller, S.; Berger, V. T. Z.; Ingold, K.; Steiner, C. (2017) Collaboration patterns in the German political science co-authorship network, PLoS One, 12(4), e0174671 (35 pp.), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0174671, Institutional Repository
Jiang, D.; Fischer, M.; Huang, Z.; Kunz, N. (2017) Identifying drivers of China's provincial wastewater reuse outcomes using qualitative comparative analysis, Journal of Industrial Ecology, xx (8 pp.), doi:10.1111/jiec.12584, Institutional Repository
Fischer, M.; Ingold, K.; Ivanova, S. (2017) Information exchange under uncertainty: the case of unconventional gas development in the United Kingdom, Land Use Policy, 67, 200-211, doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.05.003, Institutional Repository
Metz, F.; Ingold, K. (2017) Politics of the precautionary principle: assessing actors' preferences in water protection policy, Policy Sciences, 50(4), 721-743, doi:10.1007/s11077-017-9295-z, Institutional Repository
Fischer, M.; Angst, M.; Maag, S. (2017) Co-participation in the Swiss water forum network, International Journal of Water Resources Development, xx, doi:10.1080/07900627.2017.1374929, Institutional Repository
Malang, T.; Brandenberger, L.; Leifeld, P. (2017) Networks and social influence in European legislative politics, British Journal of Political Science, doi:10.1017/S0007123417000217, Institutional Repository

Publications 2016

Angst, M.; Hirschi, C. (2017) Network dynamics in natural resource governance: a case study of Swiss landscape management, Policy Studies Journal, 45(2), 315-336, doi:10.1111/psj.12145, Institutional Repository
Thomann, E.; Lieberherr, E.; Ingold, K. (2016) Torn between state and market: private policy implementation and conflicting institutional logics, Policy and Society, 35(1), 57-69, doi:10.1016/j.polsoc.2015.12.001, Institutional Repository
Fischer, M.; Sciarini, P. (2016) Drivers of collaboration in political decision making: a cross-sector perspective, Journal of Politics, 78(1), 63-74, doi:10.1086/683061, Institutional Repository
Kunz, N. C.; Fischer, M.; Ingold, K.; Hering, J. G. (2016) Drivers for and against municipal wastewater recycling: a review, Water Science and Technology, 73(2), 251-259, doi:10.2166/wst.2015.496, Institutional Repository
Markard, J.; Suter, M.; Ingold, K. (2016) Socio-technical transitions and policy change – advocacy coalitions in Swiss energy policy, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 18, 215-237, doi:10.1016/j.eist.2015.05.003, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K.; Leifeld, P. (2014) Structural and institutional determinants of influence reputation: a comparison of collaborative and adversarial policy networks in decision making and implementation, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 26(1), 1-18, doi:10.1093/jopart/muu043, Institutional Repository
Fischer, M.; Maggetti, M. (2016) Qualitative comparative analysis and the study of policy processes, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, 1-17, doi:10.1080/13876988.2016.1149281, Institutional Repository
Leifeld, P. (2016) Policy debates as dynamic networks. German pension politics and privatization discourse, 354 p, Institutional Repository
Varone, F.; Ingold, K. M.; Fischer, M. (2016) Administration et réseaux d'action publique, In: Giauque, D.; Emery, Y. (Eds.), L'acteur et la bureaucratie au XXle siècle, 115-140, Institutional Repository
Fischer, M.; Ingold, K.; Sciarini, P.; Varone, F. (2016) Dealing with bad guys: actor- and process-level determinants of the “devil shift” in policy making, Journal of Public Policy, 36(2), 309-334, doi:10.1017/S0143814X15000021, Institutional Repository
Towfigh, E. V.; Goerg, S. J.; Glöckner, A.; Leifeld, P.; Llorente-Saguer, A.; Bade, S.; Kurschilgen, C. (2016) Do direct-democratic procedures lead to higher acceptance than political representation? Experimental survey evidence from Germany, Public Choice, 167, 47-65, doi:10.1007/s11127-016-0330-y, Institutional Repository
Varone, F.; Ingold, K.; Jourdain, C. (2016) Studying policy advocacy through social network analysis, European Political Science Review, 1-15, doi:10.1057/eps.2016.16, Institutional Repository
Cranmer, S. J.; Leifeld, P.; McClurg, S. D.; Rolfe, M. (2017) Navigating the range of statistical tools for inferential network analysis, American Journal of Political Science, 61(1), 237-251, doi:10.1111/ajps.12263, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K.; Fischer, M.; de Boer, C.; Mollinga, P. P. (2016) Water management across borders, scales and sectors: recent developments and future challenges in water policy analysis, Environmental Policy and Governance, 26(4), 223-228, doi:10.1002/eet.1713, Institutional Repository
Balsiger, J.; Ingold, K. (2016) In the Eye of the Beholder: network location and sustainability perception in flood prevention, Environmental Policy and Governance, 26(4), 242-256, doi:10.1002/eet.1715, Institutional Repository
Metz, F.; Fischer, M. (2016) Policy diffusion in the context of international river basin management, Environmental Policy and Governance, 26(4), 257-277, doi:10.1002/eet.1716, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K.; Lieberherr, E.; Schläpfer, I.; Steinmann, K.; Zimmermann, W. (2016) Umweltpolitik der Schweiz. Ein Lehrbuch, 337 p, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K.; Fischer, M.; Cairney, P. (2016) Drivers for policy agreement in nascent subsystems: an application of the advocacy coalition framework to fracking policy in Switzerland and the UK, Policy Studies Journal, 45(3), 442-463, doi:10.1111/psj.12173, Institutional Repository
Fischer, M. (2016) Institutions and policy networks in Europe, In: Victor, J. N.; Lubell, M.; Montgomery, A. (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Political Networks, 28 pp., doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190228217.013.36, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K. (2017) How to create and preserve social capital in climate adaptation policies: a network approach, Ecological Economics, 131, 414-424, doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.08.033, Institutional Repository
Leifeld, P. (2017) Discourse network analysis: policy debates as dynamic networks, In: Victor, J. N.; Montgomery, A. H.; Lubell, M. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of political networks, 28, doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190228217.013.25, Institutional Repository
Varone, F.; Ingold, K.; Jourdain, C. (2017) Defending the status quo across venues and coalitions: evidence from California interest groups, Journal of Public Policy, 37(1), 1-26, doi:10.1017/S0143814X16000179, Institutional Repository
Cairney, P.; Fischer, M.; Ingold, K. (2016) Fracking in the UK and Switzerland: why differences in policymaking systems don’t always produce different outputs and outcomes, Policy & Politics, 1-22, doi:10.1332/030557316X14793989976783, Institutional Repository
Weible, C. M.; Heikkila, T.; Ingold, K.; Fischer, M. (2016) Policy debates on hydraulic fracturing. Comparing coalition politics in North America and Western Europe, 276 p, Institutional Repository
Weible, C. M.; Heikkila, T.; Ingold, K.; Fischer, M. (2016) Introduction, In: Weible,C., C.; Heikkila, T.; Ingold, K.; Fischer, M. (Eds.), Policy Debates on Hydraulic Fracturing. Comparing coalition politics in North America and Western Europe, 1-27, Institutional Repository
Cairney, P.; Fischer, M.; Ingold, K. (2016) Hydraulic fracturing policy in the United Kingdom: coalition, cooperation, and opposition in the face of uncertainty, In: Weible,C., C.; Heikkila, T.; Ingold, K.; Fischer, M. (Eds.), Policy Debates on Hydraulic Fracturing. Comparing coalition politics in North America and Western Europe, 81-113, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K.; Fischer, M. (2016) Belief conflicts and coalition structures driving sub-national policy responses: the case of Swiss regulation of unconventional gas development, In: Weible, C. M.; Heikkila, T.; Ingold, K.; Fischer, M. (Eds.), Policy Debates on Hydraulic Fracturing. Comparing Coalition Politics in North America and Western Europe, 201-237, doi:10.1057/978-1-137-59574-4_8, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K.; Fischer, M.; Heikkila, T.; Weible, C. M. (2016) Assessments and aspirations, In: Weible, C.; Heikkila, T.; Ingold, K.; Fischer, M. (Eds.), Policy Debates on Hydraulic Fracturing. Comparing coalition politics in North America and Western Europe, 239-264, Institutional Repository

Publications 2015

Leifeld, P.; Ingold, K. (2016) Co-authorship networks in Swiss political research, Swiss Political Science Review, 22(2), 264-287, doi:10.1111/spsr.12193, Institutional Repository
Fischer, M. (2015) Institutions and coalitions in policy processes: a cross-sectoral comparison, Journal of Public Policy, 35(2), 245-268, doi:10.1017/S0143814X14000166, Institutional Repository
Fischer, M. (2015) Collaboration patterns, external shocks and uncertainty: Swiss nuclear energy politics before and after Fukushima, Energy Policy, 86, 520-528, doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2015.08.007, Institutional Repository
Kunz, N. C.; Fischer, M.; Ingold, K.; Hering, J. G. (2015) Why do some water utilities recycle more than others? A qualitative comparative analysis in New South Wales, Australia, Environmental Science and Technology, 49(14), 8287-8296, doi:10.1021/acs.est.5b01827, Institutional Repository
Fischer, M.; Leifeld, P. (2015) Policy forums: Why do they exist and what are they used for?, Planta, 48(3), 363-382, doi:10.1007/s11077-015-9224-y, Institutional Repository
Sciarini, P.; Fischer, M.; Traber, D. (2015) Political decision-making in Switzerland: the consensus model under pressure, 291 p, doi:10.1057/9781137508607, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K. (2015) Identifizierung von Koalitionen in Politikprozessen illustriert anhand der Schweizer Klimapolitik. Zwei strukturelle Ansätze, In: Gamper, M.; Reschke, L.; Düring, M. (Eds.), Knoten und Kanten III – Soziale Netzwerkanalyse in Geschichts- und Politikforschung, 373-398, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K.; Varone, F. (2015) Is the Swiss Constitution really constitutional? Testing the “veil of ignorance” hypothesis over time, In: Imbeau, L.; Jacob, S. (Eds.), Behind a Veil of Ignorance? Power and Uncertainty in Constitutional Design, 187-202, Institutional Repository
Fischer, M.; Sciarini, P. (2013) Unpacking reputational power: actors' attributes and relations, 17 p, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K.; Christopoulos, D. (2015) The networks of political entrepreneurs: A case study of Swiss climate policy, In: Narbutaité Aflaki, I.; Petridou, E.; Miles, L. (Eds.), Entrepreneurship in the Polis - Understanding Political Entrepreneurship, 17-30, Institutional Repository
Fischer, M.; Ingold, K.; Sciarini, P.; Varone, F. (2016) Dealing with bad guys: actor- and process-level determinants of the “devil shift” in policy making, Journal of Public Policy, 36(2), 309-334, doi:10.1017/S0143814X15000021, Institutional Repository
Tresch, A.; Fischer, M. (2015) In search of political influence: outside lobbying behaviour and media coverage of social movements, interest groups and political parties in six Western European countries, International Political Science Review, 36(4), 355-372, doi:10.1177/0192512113505627, Institutional Repository
Christopoulos, D.; Ingold, K. (2015) Exceptional or just well connected? Political entrepreneurs and brokers in policy making, European Political Science Review, 7(3), 475-498, doi:10.1017/S1755773914000277, Institutional Repository

Publications 2014

Sciarini, P.; Tresch, A.; Fischer, M. (2014) Europeanization in Parliament and in the Press, Swiss Political Science Review, 20(2), 232-238, doi:10.1111/spsr.12101, Institutional Repository
Fischer, M.; Sciarini, P. (2014) The europeanization of Swiss decision-making processes, Swiss Political Science Review, 20(2), 239-245, doi:10.1111/spsr.12102, Institutional Repository
Brönnimann, S.; Appenzeller, C.; Croci-Maspoli, M.; Fuhrer, J.; Grosjean, M.; Hohmann, R.; Ingold, K.; Knutti, R.; Liniger, M. A.; Raible, C. C.; Röthlisberger, R.; Schär, C.; Scherrer, S. C.; Strassmann, K.; Thalmann, P. (2014) Climate change in Switzerland: a review of physical, institutional, and political aspects, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 5(4), 461-481, doi:10.1002/wcc.280, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K.; Gschwend, M. (2014) Science in policy-making: neutral experts or strategic policy-makers?, Western European Politics, 37(5), 993-1018, doi:10.1080/01402382.2014.920983, Institutional Repository
Henry, A. D.; Ingold, K.; Nohrstedt, D.; Weible, C. M. (2014) Policy change in comparative contexts. Applying the advocacy coalition framework outside of Western Europe and North America, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, 16(4), 299-312, doi:10.1080/13876988.2014.941200, Institutional Repository
Metz, F.; Ingold, K. (2014) Sustainable wastewater management: is it possible to regulate micropollution in the future by learning from the Past? A policy analysis, Sustainability, 6(4), 1992-2012, doi:10.3390/su6041992, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K. (2014) How involved are they really? A comparative network analysis of the institutional drivers of local actor inclusion, Land Use Policy, 39, 376-387, doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2014.01.013, Institutional Repository
Cappelletti, F.; Fischer, M.; Sciarini, P. (2014) 'Let's talk cash': Cantons' interests and the reform of Swiss federalism, Regional and Federal Studies, 24(1), 1-20, doi:10.1080/13597566.2013.808627, Institutional Repository
Fischer, M. (2014) Coalition structures and policy change in a consensus democracy, Policy Studies Journal, 42(3), 344-366, doi:10.1111/psj.12064, Institutional Repository

Publications 2013

Fischer, M.; Sciarini, P. (2013) Europeanization and the inclusive strategies of executive actors, Journal of European Public Policy, 20(10), 1482-1498, doi:10.1080/13501763.2013.781800, Institutional Repository
Fisher, D. R.; Waggle, J.; Leifeld, P. (2013) Where does political polarization come from? Locating polarization within the U.S. climate change debate, American Behavioral Scientist, 57(1), 70-92, doi:10.1177/0002764212463360, Institutional Repository
Fisher, D. R.; Leifeld, P.; Iwaki, Y. (2013) Mapping the ideological networks of American climate politics, Climatic Change, 116, 523-545, doi:10.1007/s10584-012-0512-7, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K.; Fischer, M. (2014) Drivers of collaboration to mitigate climate change: an illustration of Swiss climate policy over 15 years, Global Environmental Change, 24(1), 88-98, doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.11.021, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K.; Varone, F.; Stokman, F. (2013) A social network-based approach to assess de facto independence of regulatory agencies, Journal of European Public Policy, 20(10), 1464-1481, doi:10.1080/13501763.2013.804280, Institutional Repository
Leifeld, P. (2013) Reconceptualizing major policy change in the advocacy coalition framework: a discourse network analysis of German pension politics, Policy Studies Journal, 41(1), 169-198, doi:10.1111/psj.12007, Institutional Repository
Leifeld, P. (2013) texreg: conversion of statistical model output in R to LaTeX and HTML Tables, Journal of Statistical Software, 55(8), 1-24, doi:10.18637/jss.v055.i08, Institutional Repository
Lieberherr, E. (2013) Organisationsformen im Vergleich. Leistungsfähigkeit der Siedlungswasserwirtschaft in Zürich, Berlin und Leeds, Aqua & Gas, 93(2), 48-52, Institutional Repository
Lienert, J.; Schnetzer, F.; Ingold, K. (2013) Stakeholder analysis combined with social network analysis provides fine-grained insights into water infrastructure planning processes, Journal of Environmental Management, 125, 134-148, doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.03.052, Institutional Repository
Maggetti, M.; Ingold, K.; Varone, F. (2013) Having your cake and eating it, too: can regulatory agencies be both independent and accountable?, Swiss Political Science Review, 19(1), 1-25, doi:10.1111/spsr.12015, Institutional Repository
Metz, F. (2013) Addressing micropollution by linking problem characteristics to policy instruments, 38 p, Institutional Repository
Schneider, V.; Leifeld, P.; Malang, T. (2013) Coping with creeping catastrophes: National political systems and the challenge of slow-moving policy problems, In: Siebenhüner, B.; Arnold, M.; Eisenack, K.; Jacob, K. (Eds.), Long-Term Governance of Social-Ecological Change, 221-238, doi:10.4324/9780203556160, Institutional Repository

Publications 2012

Fischer, M. (2012) Entscheidungsstrukturen in der Schweizer Politik zu Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts, 379 p, Institutional Repository
Fischer, M. (2012) Dominance or challenge? An explanation of power structures among coalitions in Swiss decision-making processes, 39 p, Institutional Repository
Hering, J. G.; Ingold, K. M. (2012) Water resources management: what should be integrated?, Science, 336(6086), 1234-1235, doi:10.1126/science.1218230, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K.; Varone, F. (2012) Treating policy brokers seriously: evidence from the climate policy, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 22(2), 319-346, doi:10.1093/jopart/mur035, Institutional Repository
Leifeld, P.; Schneider, V. (2012) Information exchange in policy networks, American Journal of Political Science, 56(3), 731-744, doi:10.1111/j.1540-5907.2011.00580.x, Institutional Repository
Leifeld, P.; Haunss, S. (2012) Political discourse networks and the conflict over software patents in Europe, European Journal of Political Research, 51(3), 382-409, doi:10.1111/j.1475-6765.2011.02003.x, Institutional Repository
Lieberherr, E.; Klinke, A.; Finger, M. (2012) Towards legitimate water governance? The partially privatized Berlin waterworks, Public Management Review, 14(7), 923-946, doi:10.1080/14719037.2011.650056, Institutional Repository
Fischer, M.; Ingold, K.; Sciarini, P.; Varone, F. (2012) Impacts of market liberalization on regulatory network: a longitudinal analysis of the Swiss telecommunications sector, Policy Studies Journal, 40(3), 435-457, doi:10.1111/j.1541-0072.2012.00460.x, Institutional Repository

Master thesis (topics)

PEGO is looking for students doing their MA or BA thesis on one of the following issues:

·        Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 6 (Water) in Switzerland: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were adopted by the United Nations in 2015. Eleven of the 17 goals concern the environment. Among those eleven, SDG 6 is specific to the resource water and aims at “ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. Responsibilities in Switzerland for implementing and reporting on this multi-facetted and broad issue are distributed among different state agencies (agency for development, agency for the environment ). Furthermore, the process involves a variety of non-governmental actors, scientific institutions, and NGOs. This Master thesis should assess a. the broad landscape of public and private actors, their concrete responsibilities and competences in implementing SDG 6 in Switzerland; and b. evaluate the potential mechanisms of evidence-based policy-making and science-policy transfer, that is, evaluate where and how politics pull for evidence, and where science and practice push for bringing evidence into politics. 

·       Policy processes on renewable energy policies in Denmark and Germany: The MA thesis is expected to analyze the development of renewable energy policies in Denmark (wind) and/or Germany (photovoltaic) and the related policy processes. The study should take on a long-term perspective, and will thus cover at least two decades, and several, subsequent policy processes and will be based on existing literature and the analysis of policy document (as well as potential expert interviews).

·         Formal and informal networks in sanitation regulation in India: The task of the MA student will be to conduct a stakeholder and network analysis of the regulation of specific sanitation sites in two Indian states, as a part of a bigger Eawag project. The task includes the identification of the actors involved in the regulation of small-scale sanitation systems, the visualization and analysis of their networks, and the comparison of formal and informal structures of responsibilities. The prospective student will spend around two months in the field and is expected to deliver a report to the Eawag project.

·         Environmental Protection on municipality level: Together with the organization PUSCH, the chair of PEGO at the University of Bern organizes an MA thesis about the issue of actors’ network related to environmental protection on the local level. At the municipality level, there exists a wide array of projects dealing with issues such as biodiversity or energy consumption. Questions arise asking about whom is well integrated in such local networks, whom is participating in them and whose is rather located at their periphery.