Manuel Fischer

Manuel Fischer
Eawag: Das Wasserforschungs-Institut des ETH-Bereichs | Eawag · Department of Environmental Social Sciences

PhD

About

98
Publications
44,601
Reads
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1,919
Citations
Citations since 2017
53 Research Items
1680 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
Additional affiliations
January 2013 - present
Universität Bern
Position
  • Lecturer
September 2012 - present
Eawag: Das Wasserforschungs-Institut des ETH-Bereichs
Position
  • Researcher
January 2007 - October 2011
University of Geneva
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (98)
Article
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The role of the parliamentary arena and members of parliament (MPs) therein for both mainstreaming and cross-sectoral policy integration is largely unknown. Studying the case of Switzerland, this paper analyzes the integration of the biodiversity issue into policies of 20 different policy sectors over a period of 19 years to assess how two specific...
Article
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Research on policy integration has become an important part of public policy scholarship by analyzing how policymakers create linkages between policy subsystems to deal with complex policy problems. To develop this research program further, it is crucial to know how policy integration relates to broader theoretical and methodological developments i...
Article
Transdisciplinary research (TDR) projects integrate several disciplines as well as non-academic actors. Researchers claim that TDR projects are key for tackling complex sustainability issues. We study the effects and the factors influencing the effects of TDR projects in transnational research for development between the global North and the global...
Article
Governance of natural resources is challenging due to cross‐sectoral dependencies across related sectors such as, for example, water, agriculture, and energy. Actors involved in natural resource governance create network contacts with each other, in order to deal with specific governance issues. An important resource for actors is information, and...
Article
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Pre-adoption phases of innovation are understudied in the innovation literature. This article addresses pre-adoption phases of innovation by running a prospective analysis. We assess the readiness of municipalities for the adoption of a digital tool that brings about process innovation concerning stakeholder management. Through an online survey, we...
Article
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Networked infrastructure systems — including energy, transportation, water, and wastewater systems — provide essential services to society. Globally, these services are undergoing major transformative processes such as digitalization, decentralization, or integrated management. Such processes not only depend on technical changes in infrastructure s...
Article
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Transdisciplinary research (TD) integrates knowledge from different scientific disciplines, as well as from research and practice. Research and practice therefore describe TD as well-suited for addressing complex sustainability challenges. However, the effects of TD on sustainable development are difficult to assess, as such projects produce manifo...
Article
Forums provide venues where different actors from the public administration sector, the interest group sector, or the research sector jointly discuss an issue of common interest. This article analyses which types of benefits are related to actors’ investing working time to forums. Actors’ dedication and work are basic predicates for forums to be ab...
Article
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The dataset of this paper originated from quantitative online surveys and qualitative expert interviews with organizational actors relevant to the governance of ten Swiss wetlands from 2019 till 2021. Multi-level networks represent the wetlands governance for each of the ten cases. The collaboration networks of actors form the first level of the mu...
Article
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The effective conservation and promotion of biodiversity requires its integration into a wide range of sectoral policies. For this to happen, the issue must receive attention across policy sectors. Yet, we know little about how attention to the issue evolves over time and across sectors. Drawing from the literature on environmental policy integrati...
Article
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The influence of the European Union on national power structures, actors' institutional opportunities, and governance networks is well established in cases of Europeanization processes unfolding in member states or associated countries for which a formal agreement is in place. This article focuses instead on Europeanization processes that are more...
Article
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Digital technologies can be important to policy-makers and public servants, as these technologies can increase infrastructure performance and reduce environmental impacts. For example, utilizing data from sensors in sewer systems can improve their management, which in turn may result in better surface water quality. Whether such big data from senso...
Article
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In the last decade, a number of smart city initiatives have flourished around the world. While the literature is ripe with descriptions of those projects and pioneering cities, there is far less systematic research on why some cities are more advanced than others. As single locating entities, cities are posited to have strong geographic rootedness....
Preprint
Digital technologies can be important to policy-makers and public servants, as these technologies can increase infrastructure performance and reduce environmental impacts. For example, utilizing data from sensors in sewer systems can improve their management, which in turn may result in better surface water quality. Whether such big data from senso...
Article
Full-text available
In polycentric governance systems, decisions that influence a given policy issue are often made across a series of forums: venues where actors meet to resolve collective action problems. Here, we examine who does and does not participate in forums, and the factors driving that participation. We analyse forum participation patterns of 307 actors inv...
Article
During a civil war and its aftermath, rival powerholders frequently engage in decision-making over land use, for example, via land acquisitions or legal reforms. This paper explores how powerholders influence land use decision-making and what their engagement implies for territorial control. We analyse three cases of land use changes in Myanmar’s s...
Article
Centralities are a widely studied phenomenon in network science. In policy networks, central actors are of interest because they are assumed to control information flows, to link opposing coalitions and to directly impact decision-making. First, we study what type of actor (e.g., state authorities or interest groups) is able to occupy central posit...
Article
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L’Agenda 2030 pour le développement durable, assorti de ses 17 objectifs de développement durable (ODD), trace une nouvelle voie d’équilibre pour la planète et l’humanité. Les ODD, étroitement interconnectés, ne pourront se réaliser que moyennant de profonds changements dans nos sociétés. Des études récentes concernant les interactions entre les OD...
Article
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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) charts a new path of balance for humanity and the planet. The highly interconnected SDGs will only be achieved in their entirety through transformative changes in our societies. Recent studies on the interactions between the SDGs identify the conservation o...
Article
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Die Agenda 2030 für nachhaltige Entwicklung mit den darin enthaltenen 17 globalen Zielen für nachhaltige Entwicklung (Sustainable Development Goals SDGs) zeigt einen neuen Weg des Gleichgewichts für die Menschheit und den Planeten auf. Die SDGs sind stark miteinander verknüpft. Deshalb werden sie in ihrer Gesamtheit nur durch transformativen Wandel...
Article
Sustainable land governance in a telecoupled world is currently a challenge. Distant actors, institutions, and interactions shape local land uses and are assumed to affect sustainable development in critical ways as they exert new and often additional claims on land and trigger adverse local impacts like displacement. Action towards achieving the S...
Article
This article emphasizes the importance of actor networks for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and suggests how a network perspective can contribute to our understanding of (global) sustainability governance. Actor networks are often driven by homophily, as actors tend to interact with those similar to them. Yet, not le...
Chapter
Water governance, as many other governance sectors, involves important trade-offs between different issues related to a specific challenge. In this chapter, we conceive of water governance as an almost infinite set of interconnected actors that potentially deal with an almost infinite set of interconnected issues. We use the case of Swiss water gov...
Chapter
This chapter discusses water governance, network concepts and methods, and their relations. It does so by referring to the case study chapters and the elements studied therein. After systematically presenting the complexities of water governance and the ways water issues are typically governed and managed, the chapter discusses the contributions of...
Article
en Prominent current policy problems such as climate change, migration, or the financial crisis embrace a multitude of issues that are tackled within single‐ or multiple‐policy subsystems. However, interdependencies among actors that arise due to their multi‐issue engagement are often discounted when studying policy processes, including learning dy...
Article
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We review the literature examining collaborative governance processes from a network perspective and evaluate the extent to which it tackles important conceptual and methodological challenges. In particular, we assess whether scholars clearly identify the boundaries of the network, define nodes and the nature of ties, and examine how they deal with...
Article
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Developed to be interconnected by design, the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and their 169 targets have attracted a growing scientific community committed to exploring the systemic interactions inherent to the 2030 Agenda. Understanding which SDGs influence one another (positively or negatively) is critical to prioritize and implement poli...
Article
Horizontal cooperation among political systems is crucial for addressing large-scale and boundary-crossing policy problems. This article introduces and analyzes policy-specific factors that help to explain horizontal cooperation among subnational-governments. It thereby builds on but specifies arguments from the literature on horizontal federalism...
Article
Existing research emphasizes interdependencies between social and ecological systems in climate change adaptation. Ecological systems are often complex and span several issues that are not integrated in the social governance system. In order to increase the fit between social and ecological systems, understanding factors that promote the integratio...
Article
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The implementation of the Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) requires collaboration between actors from different sectors. One way of facilitating exchange between different actors are forums. This article investigates the contribution of different types of forums for SDG implementation. We use the case of Switzerland’s impl...
Article
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Social network analysis (SNA) is a versatile and increasingly popular methodological tool to understand structures of relationships between actors involved in governance situations. Given the complexity of the set of stakeholders involved in the governance of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and the diversity of their interests, this article pr...
Book
With the consequences of climate change and biodiversity loss becoming more and more apparent, both the protection of water resources and water-related ecosystems as well as protection from water, that is flood protection policies, have become increasingly important. This book explores the latest applications of network analysis concepts and meas...
Article
This study investigates the influence of MPs’ co-sponsorship activities on their agenda-setting success. It analyses the strategic choices open to MPs who engage in co-sponsorship, the resulting centralities in the co-sponsorship network, and the effects on the success of parliamentary proposals. MPs can develop their co-sponsorship efforts within...
Article
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Governance networks describe the complex relations among different types of actors involved in the governance of a policy issue. Here, we ask how different institutional and socioeconomic contextual conditions influence the structure of these networks and result in more horizontal or hierarchical types of governance networks. To answer this questio...
Article
In many resource governance systems, representatives of resource-related organizations gather in forums to discuss and develop solutions to policy problems. Forums often deal with interdependent policy problems, giving rise to institutional externalities: instances where decisions made in one forum either decrease (negative institutional externalit...
Article
This article presents a review of over 100 studies relying on the Institutional Research Regime (IRR) framework. We base the review on a set of 13 elements that cover categories concerning research focus, research design and results. The article first presents the development of IRR studies over time by showing and discussing how different elements...
Article
Achieving effective, sustainable environmental governance requires a better understanding of the causes and consequences of the complex patterns of interdependencies connecting people and ecosystems within and across scales. Network approaches for conceptualizing and analysing these interdependencies offer one promising solution. Here, we present t...
Technical Report
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This report serves as a complementary study to the National Research Program 70 “Energy Turnaround” and 71 “Managing Energy Consumption”. The relationship with the European Union (EU) in the field of energy is analyzed, looking at the impact on the Swiss energy system and the energy transition, in three separate modules. The first is based on semi-...
Article
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It's renewable but not sustainable. We argue that the unchecked development promoting new small hydropower plants should be replaced by a new paradigm that builds on three points: (1) Small hydropower plants must be subject to the same environmental regulations as large hydropower plants because both are associated with ecological threats and high...
Article
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In north-eastern Madagascar, maintenance of biodiversity competes with expansion of land for agriculture and mining. The concept of “telecoupling” provides a framework for analysis of distant actors and institutions that influence local land use decisions. However, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the extent of telecoupling of land governance...
Article
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Actors within an ecology of games in a polycentric governance system have to choose from a large number of forums they could participate in. This article analyzes why given types of forums are important to actors, as compared to other forums. It shows that functions of an ecology of games, such as cooperation, learning, and resource distribution, i...
Chapter
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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 poli...
Article
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This article investigates whether linkages between members of parliament (MPs) and interest groups matter for MPs' activities of co-sponsoring legislative proposals. Based on statistical models for network data, the study builds on classical explanations of co-sponsorships highlighting the role of similar ties between MPs, such as party membership,...
Article
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Forums are organizations that facilitate coordination among actors from different societal sectors such as government, interest groups, and research. Forums can serve various purposes that we represent on two dimensions. The first dimension, sector orientation, assesses the degree to which a forum serves the needs of a specific societal sector. The...
Article
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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 ac...
Article
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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 dem...
Article
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In polycentric governance systems, actors interact in different venues, such as forums which foster cross-sectoral interaction. This analysis centres on water forums in Switzerland and on actors with multiple forum memberships, creating interactions throughout the entire forum network. Findings show that the central actors in the entire water forum...
Article
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 in...
Article
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In water-scarce regions of China, wastewater reuse is increasingly considered as a potential component of China's future water resource management strategy. Currently, the percentage of wastewater reuse varies substantially across Chinese provinces, but conditions leading to a high rate of wastewater reuse have not been elucidated clearly. In this...
Article
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Policy forums are lightly institutionalized and stable forms of governance networks that include administrative authorities, interest groups, and scientists. They are said to produce different types of outputs, from simple actor coordination to position papers and implementation documents, but their productivity has also been questioned. Metagovern...
Chapter
Although there are no immediate projects of unconventional gas exploitation using hydraulic fracturing in Switzerland, the issue is on the political agenda. In federalist Switzerland, cantons are responsible for attributing the respective concessions to private companies according to the usual regulatory procedure of mineral and gas extraction. Yet...
Chapter
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The UK government seems to be ‘all out for shale’, but the regulatory process is ongoing, and there remain many hurdles to pass before shale gas can be developed commercially. We try to understand the intermediate policy outcome by identifying advocacy coalitions and explaining how they share information. We identify a large, tentatively pro-explor...
Chapter
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The conclusion of this book highlights the major insights surrounding the comparative study of advocacy coalitions and public policies on hydraulic fracturing across seven countries. Based on the chapter findings, it discusses insights into factors influencing the structure and functioning of policy subsystems, the characteristics of advocacy coali...
Book
This edited volume compares seven countries in North America and Europe on the highly topical issue of oil and gas development that uses hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." The comparative analysis is based on the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) and guided by two questions: First, in each country, what are current coalitions and the related poli...
Article
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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...
Article
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Integrated water resource management (IWRM) is widely accepted and has been implemented though international, national and regional water management guidelines. Nonetheless, concrete implementation of IWRM gives rise to new questions for policy analysis. Scholars interested in water regulation, the design of effective and efficient policy instrumen...
Article
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Given the increasing popularity of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) for the study of public policy and policy processes, this article offers a review of two key issues: multiple configurational causality and temporality. On the one hand, the study of multiple configurational causal relations allows researchers to deal with the extremely compl...
Article
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The reclamation, treatment and reuse of municipal wastewater can provide important environmental benefits. In this paper, 25 studies on this topic were reviewed and it was found that there are many (>150) different drivers acting for and against wastewater recycling. To deal with the challenge of comparing studies which entailed different research...
Article
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Collaboration between actors in political decision-making processes is crucial from both an actor and a process perspective. Previous studies have highlighted the role of preference similarity, power, and opportunity structures as drivers of collaboration. However, these studies have focused on single policy sectors and have therefore overlooked po...
Article
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The idea behind the reputational measure for assessing power of political actors is that actors involved in a decision-making process have the best view of their fellows’ power. There has been, however, no systematic examination of why actors consider other actors as powerful. Consequently, it is unclear whether reputational power measures what it...
Article
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Policy forums are issue-based intermediary organizations where diverse types of political and societal actors repeatedly interact. Policy forums are important elements of modern governance systems as they allow actors to learn, negotiate, or build trust. They can vary in composition, size, membership logic, and other distinct features. This article...
Article
Although the recycling of municipal wastewater can play an important role in water supply security and ecosystem protection, the percentage of wastewater recycled is generally low and strikingly variable. Previous research has employed detailed case studies to examine the factors that contribute to recycling success, but usually lacks a comparative...
Article
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Policy actors tend to misinterpret and distrust opponents in policy processes. This phenomenon, known as the “devil shift”, consists of the following two dimensions: actors perceive opponents as more powerful and as more evil than they really are. Analysing nine policy processes in Switzerland, this article highlights the drivers of the devil shift...
Chapter
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Power is one of the most fundamental concepts in political science, and it is a crucial aspect of decision-making structures. The distribution of power between political actors and coalitions of actors informs us about who is actually able to influence decision-making processes. It is thus no surprise that power is a centerpiece of our assessment o...
Chapter
The issue of European integration is of utmost importance for contemporary Swiss politics, as underscored by the presence of three decision-making processes relating to bilateral agreements with the EU, and two additional processes with a strong European dimension (the telecommunication act and the immigration law), among the 11 most important proc...
Chapter
Consensus democracies like Switzerland are generally known to have a low innovation capacity (Lijphart 1999). This is due to the high number of veto points such as perfect bicameralism or the popular referendum. These institutions provide actors opposing a policy with several opportunities to block potential policy change (Immergut 1990; Tsebelis 2...
Chapter
In modern democratic systems, usually no single collective actor is able to decisively influence political decision-making. Instead, actors with similar preferences form coalitions in order to gain more influence in the policy process. In the Swiss political system in particular, institutional veto points and the consensual culture of policy-making...
Chapter
In most Western countries, the media are said to exert an increasing influence on the political game. This development, which has been described variably as a shift towards an ‘audience democracy’ (Manin 1995) or the ‘mediatization of politics’ (Mazzoleni and Schulz 1999), emphasizes the increasing importance of the media for political actors and p...
Chapter
The previous chapter presented the overall decision-making structure in Swiss politics at the beginning of the 21st century. This provides us with a general picture and allows for a comparison over time with the decision-making structure in the 1970s. However, the analysis of the overall decision-making structure potentially neglects important diff...
Chapter
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The previous chapter uncovered important differences between decision-making structures across the 11 processes investigated by this study. As we have noted, both historically and in much contemporary literature, the Swiss political system has been described as highly consensual. And yet, when we focus on differences between decision-making structu...
Article
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This paper studies the relation between coalition structures in policy processes and policy change. While different factors such as policy images, learning processes, external events, or venue shopping are important to explain policy change, coalition structures within policy processes are often neglected. However, policy change happens as a result...
Article
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Actors with joint beliefs in a decision-making process form coalitions in order to translate their goals into policy. Yet, coalitions are not formed in an institutional void, but rather institutions confer opportunities and constraints to actors. This paper studies the institutional conditions under which either coalition structures with a dominant...
Article
Europeanization challenges national democratic systems. As part and parcel of the broader internationalization of politics, Europeanization is associated with a shift from policymaking within majoritarian, elected representative bodies towards technocratic decisions among non-majoritarian and non-elected bodies (Kohler-Koch and Rittberger 2008, Lav...
Article
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Europeanization has been at the core of two research projects on decision-making processes in Switzerland that we carried out over the last decade. Interestingly enough, Europeanization was initially not supposed to be the central focus of these projects: The first was broader in scope, as it dealt with the effects of globalization and internationa...