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Module 2: Changing relations between input, throughput, and output in public governance

Module 2 examines how globalization and mediatization have impacted governance in established liberal democracies. It addresses changes in decision-making systems and their effects on policy-making and legitimacy of democratic systems. These systems are experiencing two types of pressure:
  • external pressures driven by globalization and European integration
  • internal pressures from the increasing internal fragmentation of modern society (e.g. regionalization, multiculturalism, functional differentiation)  
As a result, political systems are confronting serious challenges to their capacity to govern:
  • declining problem-solving capacity of contemporary democracies and support for their leaders
  • highly complex problems that make control of appropriate knowledge a key issue for political actors
  • growing demands on political authorities and resistance to the implementation of their policies
  • political action is increasingly subject to media scrutiny.  
Political systems must adjust in order to cope with these challenges. In phase I, this module investigated major transformations in the policy-making process and their origins. The role of knowledge and the ability of governments to diffuse credible information about their policies in a context of high mediatization was assessed. Finally, the module provided robust comparative data for the evaluation of policy outputs of democratic systems.

In phase I (2005-2009), Module 2 was made up of four projects: 

  • IP 4 examined how external constraints have shaped Swiss decision-making processes and how this has affected the degree of Europeanization of Swiss policies.
  • IP 5 analyzed how and why governance structures in metropolitan areas have changed over time. IP 5a focused on cantonal strategies to guide metropolitan development in Switzerland.
  • IP 6 examined how and to what extent modern states are able to establish legitimacy by providing evidence of their own performance.
  • IP 7 analyzed how effectively democratic structures and processes contribute to the provision of public goods.
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