Prof. Dr. Karin Ingold

Chair of Policy Analysis and Environmental Governance (PEGO)

Institute of Political Science

+41 31 631 53 60
+41 31 631 83 31
A 162
Postal Address
University Bern
Institute Political Science
Fabrikstrasse 8
3012 Bern

About Karin Ingold

Karin Ingold is professor at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Bern since August 2011 and is also affiliated to the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change research. She leads the research group of Policy Analysis and Environmental Governance (PEGO) affiliated to the Institute of Political Science at the University of Bern and the Department of Environmental Social Sciences at EAWAG.
Karin Ingold is Associate Editor for Continental Europe for the Journal of Policy & Politics and in the editorial board of the Policy Studies Journal, Swiss Political Science Review, Connections, and European Policy Analysis Journal. In her research, she is interested in the analysis and design of policy processes and instruments. Through her PhD and recent research, she became a scholar of the Advocacy Coalition Framework and other policy process theories. Methodologically, she mainly developed her skills in the conceptual development and application of social network analysis. Since 2008, she has been a co-organizer of the International Conference on the Application of Social Network Analysis (ASNA), and since 2013 she is in the Scientific Board of the European Conference on Social Network Analysis.


  • Ingold, K.; Stadelmann-Steffen, I.; Kammermann, L. (2018). The acceptance of instruments in instrument mix situations: Citizens’ perspective on Swiss energy transition. Research Policy online. DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2018.10.018
  • Rapp, C.; Ingold, K.; Freitag, M. (2018). Personalized networks? How the Big Five personality traits influence the structure of egocentric networks. Social Science Research online. DOI: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2018.09.001.
  • Kammerer, M.; Namhata, C. (2018). What drives the adoption of climate change mitigation policy? A dynamic network approach to policy diffusion. Policy Sciences online: 1–35. DOI: 10.1007/s11077-018-9332-6.
  • Metz, F.; Leifeld, P.; Ingold, K. (2018). Interdependent policy instrument preferences: A two-mode network approach. Journal of Public Policy online: 1–28.
  • Maag, S.; Fischer, M. (2018). Why Government, Interest Groups, and Research Coordinate: The Different Purposes of Forums. Society & Natural Resources online. DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2018.1484973.
  • Kammermann, L.; Dermont, C. (2018). How beliefs of the political elite and citizens on climate change influence support for Swiss energy transition policy. Energy Research & Social Science 43: online. DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2018.05.010.
  • Weible, C.; Ingold, K. (2018). Why Advocacy Coalitions Matter and Practical Insights about Them. Policy & Politics 46(2): 325-343. DOI: 10.1332/030557318X15230061739399.
  • Angst, M.; Widmer, A.; Fischer, M.; Ingold, K. (2018). Connectors and coordinators in natural resource governance: insights from Swiss water supply. Ecology and Society 23(2): 1. DOI: 10.5751/ES-10030-230201.
  • Brandenberger, L. (2018). Trading favors – Examining the temporal dynamics of reciprocity in congressional collaborations using relational event models. Social Networks 54: 238-253. DOI: 10.1016/j.socnet.2018.02.001.
  • Cairney, P.; Ingold, K.; Fischer, M. (2018). Fracking in the UK and Switzerland: why differences in policymaking systems don't always produce different outputs and outcomes. Policy & Politics 46(1): 125-147. DOI: 10.1332/030557316X14793989976783.
  • Widmer, A. (2018). Mainstreaming climate adaptation in Switzerland: How the national adaptation strategy is implemented differently across sectors. Environmental Science & Policy 82: 71–78. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2018.01.007.
  • Ingold, K.; Moser, A.; Metz, F.; Herzog, L.; Bader, H.P.; Scheidegger, R.; Stamm, Ch. (2018). Misfit between physical affectedness and regulatory embeddedness: The case of drinking water supply along the Rhine River. Global Environmental Change 48: 136-150. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2017.11.006.


  • Malang, T.; Brandenberger, L.; Leifeld, P. (2017). Networks and Social Influence in European Legislative Politics. British Journal of Political Science online. DOI: 10.1017/S0007123417000217.
  • Ingold, K.; Fischer, M.; Cairney, P. (2017). 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.
  • Kammermann, L. (2017). Factors Driving the Promotion of Hydroelectricity: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Review of Policy Research online. DOI: 10.1111/ropr.12274.
  • Metz, F.; Leifeld, P. (2017). “Governing Water with Market-Based Instruments: Preferences and Skepticism in Switzerland”. In A Critical Approach to International Water Management Trends. Policy and Practice, ed. C. Bréthaut and R. Schweizer. London: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 147-176.
  • Fischer, M.; Angst, M.; Maag, S. (2017). Co-participation in the Swiss water forum network. International Journal of Water Resources Development Online. DOI: 10.1080/07900627.2017.1374929.
  • Metz, F.; Ingold, K. (2017). Politics of the precautionary principle: assessing actors’ preferences in water protection policy. Policy Sciences Online. DOI: 10.1007/s11077-017-9295-z.
  • Fischer, M.; Ingold, K.; Ivanova, S. (2017). Information exchange under uncertainty: The case of unconventional gas development in the United Kingdom. Land Use Policy online. DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.05.003.
  • Metz, F. (2017). From Network Structure to Policy Design in Water Protection: A Comparative Perspective on Micropollutants in the Rhine River Riparian Countries. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
  • Dermont, C.; Ingold, K.; Kammermann, L.; Stadelmann-Steffen, I. (2017). Bringing the policy making perspective in: A political science approach to social acceptance. Energy Policy 108: 359–368.
  • 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.
  • 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. Online. DOI: 10.1111/jiec.12584.
  • Leifeld, P.; Wankmüller, S.; Berger, V.; Ingold, K.; Steiner, C. (2017). Collaboration patterns in the German political science co-authorship network. Plos One online. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0174671.
  • Sager, F.; Ingold, K.; Balthasar, A. (2017). Policy-Analyse in der Schweiz. Besonderheiten, Theorien, Beispiele. Zürich: NZZ Verlag.
  • Fischer, M.; Schläpfer, I. 2017. Metagovernance and Policy Forum Outputs in Swiss Environmental Policy. Environmental Politics online. DOI: 10.1080/09644016.2017.1284981.
  • Varone, F.; Ingold, K.; Jourdain, Ch. (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.
  • Ingold, K. (2017). How to create and preserve social capital in climate adaptation policies: a network approach. Ecological Economics 131 (January 2017): 414-424. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.08.033.


  • Weible, C.M.; Heikkila, T.; Ingold, K.; Fischer, M. (2016). Policy Debates on Hydraulic Fracturing. Comparing Coalition Politics in North America and Europe. Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-59574-4.
  • Weible, C.M.; Heikkila, T.; Ingold, K.; Fischer, M. (2016). “Introduction”. In Policy Debates on Hydraulic Fracturing, ed. C.M. Wible, T. Heikkila, K. Ingold and M. Fischer. Palgrave Macmillan, p. 1-27. DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-59574-4_1.
  • Cairney, P.; Fischer, M.; Ingold, K. (2016). “Hydraulic Fracturing Policy in the United Kingdom: Coalition, Cooperation, and Opposition in the Face of Uncertainty”. In Policy Debates on Hydraulic Fracturing, ed. C.M. Weible, T. Heikkila, K. Ingold and M. Fischer. Palgrave Macmillan, p. 81-113. DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-59574-4_4.
  • Ingold, K.; Fischer, M. (2016). “Belief Conflicts and Coalition Structures Driving Subnational Policy Responses: The Case of Swiss Regulation of Unconventional Gas Development”. In Policy Debates on Hydraulic Fracturing, ed. C.M. Weible, T. Heikkila, K. Ingold and M. Fischer. Palgrave Macmillan, p. 201-237. DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-59574-4_8.
  • Ingold, K.; Fischer, M.; Heikkila, T.; Weible, C.M. (2016). “Assessments and Aspirations”. In Policy Debates on Hydraulic Fracturing, ed. C.M. Weible, T. Heikkila, K. Ingold and M. Fischer. Palgrave Macmillan, p. 239-264. DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-59574-4_9.
  • Ingold, K.; Lieberherr, E.; Schläpfer, I.; Steinmann, K.; Zimmermann, W. (2016). Umweltpolitik der Schweiz – ein Lehrbuch. 337 Seiten. Zürich/St. Gallen: Dike Verlag. Webanhang (PDF, 790KB)
  • Fischer, M. (2016). "Institutions and policy networks in Europe." In Oxford Handbook of Political Networks, ed. J. N. Victor, M. Lubell and A. Montgomery. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ingold, K.; Fischer, M., de Boer, C., Mollinga, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ingold, K.; Pflieger, G. (2016) Two Levels, Two Strategies: Explaining the Gap Between Swiss National and International Responses Toward Climate Change. European Policy Analysis Journal 2(1): 20-38.
  • 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.
  • Varone, F.; Ingold, K.; Jourdain, C. (2016) Studying policy advocacy through social network Analysis. European Political Science. Advance online publication, 27 May 2016. DOI:10.1057/eps.2016.16.
  • Cranmer, S. J.; Leifeld, P.; McClurg, S. D.; Rolfe, M. (2016). Navigating the Range of Statistical Tools for Inferential Network Analysis. American Journal of Political Science 61(1): 237-251. DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12263.
  • Towfigh, E.V.; Goerg, S.J.; Glöckner, A.; Leifeld, P.; Kurschilgen, C.; Llorente-Saguer, A.; Bade, S. (2016). Do Direct-Democratic Procedures Lead to Higher Acceptance than Political Representation? Experimental Survey Evidence from Germany. Public Choice 167(1): 47-65. DOI: 10.1007/s11127-016-0330-y.
  • 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, 26 (2) 309-334. DOI:10.1017/S0143814X15000021.
  • Varone, F.; Ingold, K.; Fischer, M. (2016) Administration et réseaux d'action publique. In: Giauque, D.; Emery, Y. L'acteur et la bureaucratie au 21e siècle. Québec: Presses de l'Université de Laval. 115-140.
  • 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.
  • Fischer, M.; Sciarini, P. (2016) Drivers of collaboration in political decision making: A cross-sector perspective. The Journal of Politics, 78(1), 63-74. DOI:10.1086/683061.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ingold, K.; Leifeld, P. (2016) 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.
  • Fischer, M.; Maggetti, M. (2016) Qualitative Comparative Analysis and the Study of Policy Processes. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 17 pp. DOI:10.1080/13876988.2016.1149281.
  • Leifeld, P. (2016) Policy Debates as Dynamic Networks. German Pension Politics and Privatization Discourse, 354 pp. Frankfurt am Main: Campus Verlag.


  • Stadelmann-Steffen, I.; Ingold, K. (2015) Ist der Name schon Programm? Die GLP-Wählerschaft und ihre grünen und freisinnigen Wurzeln. In: Freitag; M.; Vatter, A.: Wahlen und Wählerschaft in der Schweiz. NZZ Libro Verlag.  217-244.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fischer, M.; Leifeld, P. (2015) Policy forums: Why do they exist and what are they used for? Policy Sciences, 48(3), 363-382. DOI:10.1007/s11077-015-9224-y.
  • Ingold, K.; Varone, F. (2015) Is the Swiss Constitution really constitutional? Testing the “veil of ignorance” hypothesis over time, 187-202. In: Imbeau, L; Jacob, S: Behind a Veil of Ignorance? Power and Uncertainty in Constitutional Design. Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-14953-0.
  • Fischer, M.; Sciarini, P. (2015) Unpacking reputational power: Intended and unintendeddeterminants of the assessment of actors’ power. Social Networks, (42): 60-71. DOI:10.1016/j.socnet.2015.02.008.
  • Ingold, K.; Christopoulos, D. (2015) The networks of political entrepreneurs: A case study of Swiss climate policy, 17-30. In: Narbutaité Aflaki, I.; Petridou, E.; Miles, L.; Entrepreneurship in the Polis - Understanding Political Entrepreneurship. Burlington: Ashgate.
  • 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, 355-372. DOI:10.1177/0192512113505627.
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ingold, K.; Gschwend. M. (2014) Science in policy-making: Neutral experts or strategic policy-makers? West European Politics, 37(5), 993-1018. DOI:10.1080/01402382.2014.920983.
  • 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: Research and Practice, 16(4, SI), 299-312. DOI:10.1080/13876988.2014.941200.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fischer, M. (2014) Coalition structures and policy change in a consensus democracy. Policy Studies Journal, 42(3), 344-366. DOI:10.1111/psj.12064.
  • Cappelletti, F.; Fischer, M.; Sciarini, P. (2014) ‘Let's talk cash’: Cantons' interests and the reform of Swiss federalism. Regional & Federal Studies, 24(1), 1-20. DOI:10.1080/13597566.2013.808627.


  • Ingold, K.; Balsiger, J. (2013) Sustainability Principles put into Practice: Case Studies of Network Analysis in Swiss Climate Change Adaptation. Regional Environmental Change, 529-598. DOI:10.​1007/​s10113-013-0575-7.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fisher, D. R.; Leifeld, P.; Iwaki, Y. (2013) Mapping the ideological networks of American climate politics. Climatic Change, 116(3-4), 523-545. DOI:10.1007/s10584-012-0512-7.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lieberherr, E. (2013) Organisationsformen im Vergleich. Leistungsfähigkeit der Siedlungswasserwirtschaft in Zürich, Berlin und Leeds. Aqua & Gas, 93(2), 48-52.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Metz, F. (2013) Addressing micropollution by linking problem characteristics to policy instruments. Working paper, 38 pp.
  • Schneider, V.; Leifeld, P.; Malang, T. (2013) Coping with creeping catastrophes: National political systems and the challenge of slow-moving policy problems, 221 -238. In: Siebenhüner, B.; Arnold, M.; Eisenack, K.; Jacob, K.: Long-Term Governance of Social-Ecological Change. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Towfigh, E. V.; Glöckner, A.; Goerg, S. J.; Leifeld, P.; Kurschilgen, C.; Llorente-Saguer, A.; Bade, S. (2013) Does Political Representation through Parties Decrease Voters' Acceptance of Decisions? Preprints of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013/10.


  • Fischer, M. (2012) Entscheidungsstrukturen in der Schweizer Politik zu Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts, 11, 379 pp. Glarus: Somedia.
  • Fischer, M. (2012) Dominance or challenge? An explanation of the power distribution among coalitions in Swiss decision-making processes, 39 pp. COMPASSS Working Paper 69.
  • Hering, J. G.; Ingold, K. M. (2012) Water resources management: What should be integrated? Science, 336(6086), 1234-1235. DOI:10.1126/science.1218230.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Welcome to the chair of Policy Analysis and Environmental Governance (PEGO)

In August 2011, the Institute of Political Science (IPW) at the University of Bern installed the Professorship of Policy Analysis and Environmental Governance (PEGO). This Chair was founded as a result of a fruitful collaboration between the IPW and the EAWAG (the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology). Since the beginning, Karin Ingold took the lead in this new research group. She is a political scientist and focuses her research and lectures on the analysis of policy processes, and instrument design. Karin Ingold has a particular interest in issues relating to natural resource management, water, energy and climate policy. PEGO is also affiliated to the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change research.





Group leader Eawag, Dr.


PhD Candidates

Junior Assistant

Former Staff Member

Open Topics for BA- and MA-Thesis:

  • Political decision-making process on CO2-Act. The CO2-Act is the centrepiece of Switzerland’s climate policy. Its development and content were massively debated among the opponents in the climate policy subsystem. In particular, the conflict arises between powerful economic groups, traffic organisations, the oil lobby, and conservative political parties, on the one side, and environmental organisations, NGOs, and progressive parties on the other side of the political spectrum. The main contestation is and was the introduction of a CO2 tax on combustibles and motor fuels. The tax on fuels has never been successful until today. Policy analysis research closely investigated the policy formulation process in the past two decades. Specifically, under the auspices of Karin Ingold, elite surveys were conducted on a regular basis to collect data on policy beliefs and policy networks of the involved actors. This Master thesis aims to implement a new survey focusing on the most recent revision of the CO2-Act and to analyse the gathered data with methods from the Social Network Analysis toolbox.
  • Influence of local decision-makers on flood prevention. Recent extreme flood events in Switzerland indicate that further effective and long-term flood prevention measures are necessary to protect municipalities and landscapes from flooding. Flood prevention in Switzerland is a shared competence of the federal government, the cantons and the municipalities. Fulfilling tasks of hydraulic engineering as well as the design, development and implementation of flood prevention policies is mainly the responsibility of the municipalities. In this context, several questions are raised: What role do the preferences of local decision-makers, e.g. a municipal council’s president, play for the choice of flood prevention measures in the same municipality? Which impacts does a municipal council’s political orientation have for the salience of flood prevention in the same municipality? This master thesis deals with these and similar questions. On the basis of a case study design, the aim is to analyze the impact of local decision-makers’ biographies on decision-making in flood prevention.
  • Europeanization of Swiss Water Politics. Many policy sectors in Switzerland are confronted with an increasing internationalization and Europeanization – an adaption of policies as well as functional logics of policy processes to policies and processes at international levels. This phenomenon has an impact – among others – on the opportunities of Swiss political actors to influence policymaking. The prospective MA thesis analyses the respective mechanisms in the water policy sector – a policy sector that by definition has a strongly transboundary character. Among other international processes, the European Water Framework Directive influences policymaking in the non EU member state Switzerland.
  • Biodiversity as a complex policy field. The prospective MA thesis deals with the complex actor constellation around biodiversity. Biodiversity concerns many different traditional policy sectors (water, forest, energy, land use planning, agriculture, etc.) and is influenced by policy processes (“Strategie Biodiversität”) on different levels of decision-making (from municipalities to international treaties). Theoretical approaches on policy processes and policy networks should guide the empirical analysis of the actor constellation in this field.
  • Competence shifts to municipality associations. Municipalities are the lowest level in the Swiss multi-level system of political decision-making. They are under increasing pressure, given the challenges provided by technical developments in – for example – the infrastructure domain. One solution for municipalities to deal with these challenges and related lack of resources and expertise is to delegate certain competencies to municipality associations. The prospective MA thesis deals with the question why such shifts of competences are accepted or not by municipalities, and under what context conditions they are successful or not. The thesis analyses this question for the domain of wastewater and drinking water.
  • Privatization of drinking water. The population of the canton of Zurich will soon vote on the revision of the integrated cantonal water law. The main reason for the high public interest and the conflictive discussions around the revision of this law is due to the fact that an element in the law explicitly provides the option for private firms to acquire parts of the drinking water supply system. The discussions in the canton of Zurich might very well influence related discussions in other cantons. The prospective MA thesis analyses the policy process and the actor network around the revision of the Zurich water law, as well as actors’ preferences and strategies around the question of privatisation of water supply against the background of policy process and network theories.
  • Protection of deep groundwater. Deep groundwater is increasingly concerned by different uses such as the extraction of mineral water, geo-thermical drillings, future CO2 storage as well as the agricultural use of water due to climate change. The protection and the related coordination of uses (as for example through prioritizing given types of uses) needs to be adapted to these new challenges in order to prevent future problems in regulation and uncertainties for users. The prospective MA thesis prepares basic parameters related to this issue and identifies and critically evaluates relevant actors, interests, conflicts, opportunities for coordination and policy instruments related to the protection of deep groundwater.
  • River restoration in Switzerland: Comparing cantonal strategies. In the next decades, Switzerland will restore (revitalize) an important part of its rivers. While the goals and basic criteria and financing mechanisms are defined at the national level, cantons are mainly responsible for identifying the river parts which should be restored. Swiss cantons thereby encounter different political and geographical challenges, and, as a consequence, organize their strategic planning of restoration measures in different ways, and rely on different criteria. Given the long-term task of restoring rivers, knowing how cantons plan their measures, and thus allowing for cross-cantonal learning over time, is crucial. The aim of the MA thesis is to compare cantonal planning processes, resources, approaches, and actor constellations related to restoration planning, and thus to identify why given types of cantons act in specific ways. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) might be a good methodological approach for such a comparison. (German knowledge required)
  • Analyzing political decision-making processes of flood protection. Forecasts indicate that heavy precipitation events as a consequence of climate change will occur more often in the future, and thus, the risk of flooding will increase. This confronts politicians with the challenge to design and implement new adaptation measures on the local level. The design of appropriate instruments depends to a large extent on the actors involved in the decision-making process and the structure of their interactions. In 2012 and 2014, the Federal Council published his strategy on climate change adaptation and formulated his strategic approach to flood protection. The aim of the MA thesis is to find out, which actors were involved in the design of the strategy on flood protection and how their interactions were structured.
  • International Water Governance in the “International Geneva”. This MA thesis has the goal to describe and analyze the set of international organizations based in and around Geneva and dealing with water issues. In this complex governance system, how are organizational characteristics related to organization’s issue portfolios or network positions? In empirical terms, the analysis should be based on an existing database (which might be expanded and completed, if needed). This MA thesis will be written in collaboration with the Geneva Water Hub (
  • Conflict around river restoration. Agriculture, railways, motorways, drinking water supply and other land uses can be in direct conflict with more ecologically driven measures like river restauration. In this Master thesis, user and protection conflicts, and tradeoffs between different, often divergent interests should be systematically assessed and then, via a concrete case study, or case study comparison, empirically studied.