The Structure of Complex, Large-scale Governance Systems

Angst, Mario (8 September 2018). The Structure of Complex, Large-scale Governance Systems (Unpublished). In: ECPR General Conference. Oslo, Norway. 06.-09. Sept. 2017.

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

Large-scale governance systems can be considered complex systems. They encompass organizations involved in a multitude of substantive issues, on various jurisdictional levels and in different phases of the policy process. General complexity theory posits that an understanding of complex systems comprises the identification of near decomposable subsystems. In order to do so, this study shows a way to formally represent governance systems in a bipartite network structure. It then identifies subsystems of interrelated governance activity of organizations in Swiss water governance and compares interaction and belief homogeneity within and between subsystems. Results suggest that Swiss water governance is characterized by near decomposable subsystems that are each are associated with a multidimensional set of issues, but are internally homogeneous in policy beliefs. This illustrates the value of basing subsystem identification on observed organizational activity and points toward complex system dynamics as a main driver in obstructing cross-sector coordination.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science

UniBE Contributor:

Angst, Mario


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science


[4] Swiss National Science Foundation




Mario Angst

Date Deposited:

02 May 2018 12:08

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:11


Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback