Policy networks and the roles of public administrations

Varone, Frédéric; Ingold, Karin; Fischer, Manuel (2019). Policy networks and the roles of public administrations. In: Ladner, Andreas; Soguel, Nils; Emery, Yves; Weerts, Sophie; Nahrath, Stéphane (eds.) Swiss Public Administration: Making the State Work Successfully. Governance and Public Management (pp. 339-353). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan 10.1007/978-3-319-92381-9_20

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This chapter shows how public administrations, in order to maintain influence over the conduct of public policies, assume new roles, at least when compared to the tasks and sovereign competencies under an ideal-typical Weberian bureaucracy. Empirical evidence from Switzerland indicates that an administrative entity can cast itself in turn as a policy broker and mediator in political conflicts (during policy formulation) but also as a co-producer of administrative services and network facilitator (during policy implementation). The results of a formal social network analysis (SNA) suggest that these new roles do not entail a loss of public administration influence. On the contrary, it is by adapting and also abandoning a state-centric vision and hierarchical position, as well as finding a place within a policy network as a broker, facilitator, or co-producer, that public administrations are able to maintain their ability to significantly influence the content of public policies.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Ingold, Karin Mirjam


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




Governance and Public Management


Palgrave Macmillan




Jack Kessel Baker

Date Deposited:

23 Apr 2020 14:50

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:36

Publisher DOI:




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