Fragmentierung und Subsysteme in der Schweizer Wasserpolitik
Effektive und effiziente Regulierung von grenzüberschreitenden Mikroverunreinigungen
Zukünftige Wasserversorgungsstrukturen im Kanton Basel-Landschaft
Politikwandel in Richtung alternativer und erneuerbarer Energie
Lokale Strategien zur Anpassung an den Klimawandel
Politische Landschaft rund um die Regulierung von Fracking in Grossbritannien und der Schweiz
Auswirkungen von Tele-Koppelung zwischen verschiedenen Systemen auf die Landnutzung, Ökosystemdienstleistungen und das menschliche Wohlergehen.
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Interdependent policy instrument preferences: a two-mode network approach
In policymaking, actors are likely to take the preferences of others into account when strategically positioning themselves. However, there is a lack of research that conceives of policy preferences as an interdependent system. In order to analyse interdependencies, we link actors to their policy preferences in water protection, which results in an actor-instrument network. As actors exhibit multiple preferences, a complex two-mode network between actors and policies emerges. We analyse whether actors exhibit interdependent preference profiles given shared policy objectives or social interactions among them. By fitting an exponential random graph model to the actor-instrument network, we find considerable clustering, meaning that actors tend to exhibit preferences for multiple policy instruments in common. Actors tend to exhibit interdependent policy preferences when they are interconnected, that is, they collaborate with each other. By contrast, actors are less likely to share policy preferences when a conflict line divides them.
Why advocacy coalitions matter and practical insights about them
Traditional scholarship on political engagement has emphasised political parties, interest groups and social movements as ways to influence public policy. This paper highlights the particular role of advocacy coalitions as another conduit for political engagement. Drawing from scholarship associated with the Advocacy Coalition Framework, we offer a way to think about political contexts through coalitions, policy subsystems and political systems, and the attributes of politically engaged actors. It is one of the first attempts to draw practical lessons about the theory of coalitions and, thus, to facilitate better governance and politics as well as the advancement of scholarship.
Connectors and coordinators in natural resource governance: insights from Swiss water supply
Fragmentation across scales in natural resource governance can impede coordinated action and decrease innovation capacity. Bridging actors who connect others within governance networks helps to overcome this challenge. We analyze two bridging positions for actors in governance networks. First, periphery connectors integrate otherwise unconnected actors and provide access to new knowledge. Second, central coordinators efficiently connect actors at the center of the network and thus facilitate coordinated action. We propose a way to identify periphery connectors and central coordinators within governance networks and formulate expectations about types of actors that are likely to occupy these positions. An analysis of three actor networks in the water supply sector in Switzerland suggests that periphery coordinator positions are more likely to be occupied by organizations at higher jurisdictional levels. Central coordinator positions are more likely to be occupied by governmental actors as compared to nongovernmental actors. Thus, in addressing challenges of fragmentation, higher level governmental actors continue to play an important role, even when they delegate responsibilities to lower level and private actors.
Misfit between physical affectedness and regulatory embeddedness: the
case of drinking water supply along the Rhine River
One open question in environmental sciences is whether effective management of natural resources depends on the fit between the bio-physical and the governance system. To address this question, we investigate water quality in transboundary rivers and ask to what extent a fit between the area covered by the physical extent of pollution and the area in which this pollution is addressed through management and policy regulation can be observed. We adopt a spatial approach and argue that the visualization of social-ecological overlap and misfit supports science and practice when taking decisions about how best to explain or address ineffectiveness and cause-effect mismatches in transboundary river management.
We focus on drinking water supply in the international river basin of the Rhine focusing on micropollutants. These persistent trace compounds have potential toxic effects on humans and ecosystems, which makes them a relevant type of pollution that needs to be taken into consideration. Based on a combination of mass flow and social network analysis, we can conclude that the Rhine River is characterized by large social-ecological overlap, but that some parts of the catchment area still lack integration.
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
Fracking in the UK and Switzerland: why differences in policymaking systems don’t always produce different outputs and outcomes
We address a key puzzle in policy studies: why don't major differences in political systems and policy produce major differences in policy processes, outputs, and outcomes? We show why key aspects of fracking policy are similar in the UK and Switzerland despite the UK majoritarian government being 'all out for shale' and Switzerland’s consensus democracy favouring moratoriums. We use the 'advocacy coalition framework' and new survey data to show why differences in UK and Swiss processes are subtle. In both cases, actors cooperate and compete with each other by sharing information within and across coalitions.
Politics of the precautionary principle: assessing actors' preferences in water protection policy
This paper analyzes the prospects for introducing the precautionary principle in water protection policy. In situations where a problem enters the political agenda and scientific uncertainties remain about causes or effects, political actors can justify state intervention based on the precautionary principle. It allows for public action even if risks related to the problem remain unclear. While the precautionary principle is widely applied in health and environmental policy fields all over the world, the mechanisms leading to its adoption are not fully understood. To close this gap, the paper investigates decision-makers preferences for the precautionary principle and further asks: Which factors promote political actors' preferences for precautionary policy measures? In order to answer this question we study the case of emerging micropollutants – a water quality issue that recently entered political agendas, where many uncertainties remain about sources and effects. We rely on data gathered through a standardized survey among the political elite in Switzerland, which represents one of the first countries that adopted policy measures to reduce micropollutants in water bodies, despite the uncertainties that remain. Results analyzed through a temporal network autocorrelation model reveal that actors embedded in collaborative governance arrangements have the tendency to prefer precautionary action. Certain aspects of policy design, such as problem prioritization and target group membership, also impact the prospects for introducing the precautionary principle.
Information exchange under uncertainty: the case of unconventional gas development in the United Kingdom
New techniques of unconventional oil and gas extraction, such as hydraulic fracturing, challenge current political, institutional and administrative practices in how to regulate activities in the underground. Conflicts of interests between economic promotion, landscape and natural resource protection, and new trends on energy markets are further intensified by the fact that techniques of oil and gas extraction come with a considerable amount of uncertainties regarding ecological and health impacts. Information exchange is one important aspect of how political actors try to reduce uncertainties and conflicts. Based on exponential random graph models (ERGM) for network data, we analyze to what degree ideologies, public authority, existing collaboration and scientific expertise drive information exchange in hydraulic fracturing regulation in the United Kingdom. Results show that technical and political information exchange have to be disentangled, and that the former is driven by expertise and existing collaboration, the latter by ideology, public authority and existing collaboration.
Bringing the policy making perspective in: a political science approach to social acceptance
Recent years have seen a growing interest in the concept of social acceptance, especially in the wake of the transition from non-renewable to renewable energy sources. Social acceptance is thereby studied from very different backgrounds and based on distinct conceptualizations. We argue that the reason for the great variety in the use of 'acceptance' is not mainly its interdisciplinary and multidimensionality, but a missing policy making perspective and its insights and knowledge about processes, actors and (in)formal decision-making. This contribution proposes a framework to refine the concept of social acceptance. Taking into account that the stage and specificity of the policy making process heavily influence the response towards RET and the process triggered, we identify three steps that need to be addressed when defining a research design that includes social acceptance: the object and context under scrutiny, the relevant actors, and the roles they play. Our proposed framework thereby adopts a political science point of view and the main research interest deals with political actors deciding upon and implementing future policies.
Drivers for policy agreement in nascent subsystems: an application of the advocacy coalition framework to fracking policy in Switzerland and the UK
The study of public policy deals with subsystems in which actors cooperate or compete to turn their beliefs into policy solutions. Yet, most studies concern mature subsystems in which the main actors and their allies and enemies can easily be identified. This paper tackles the challenge of studying nascent subsystems, in which actors have begun to engage in politics but are uncertain about other actors’ beliefs. Actors therefore find it relatively difficult to identify their allies and opponents. Focusing on the Advocacy Coalition Framework, we examine three main ways in which actors might agree to support the same policy design before they decide whether or not to form long-term relationships within advocacy coalitions: they see the issue through the same lenses, they follow leaders, or they know each other from earlier cooperation. We use the case of fracking policy in Switzerland and the UK as a key example, in which actors have begun to agree with each other, but where final policy outputs were not yet defined, and long-term relationships not yet observable. We find that, when dealing with new issues, actors strongly rely on former contacts rather than shared ideologies or leadership.
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