States are problem-solving devices that allow modern and complex societies to address and overcome all kinds of challenges, from the reduction of poverty to the regulation of new technologies to the mitigation of climate change. An effective administration and well-designed institutions allow states to address problems, manage crises, and mediate conflicts.
Our research unit investigates contemporary developments that threaten to undermine the problem-solving power of the state, namely the intensification of political conflict and the growth of policies, rules and regulations.
Intensified conflict can polarize societies, damage their institutions and distract them from “really big” problems. An important focus of our research is to identify the factors that allow societies to address problems and manage conflicts under heightened pressure. Policy growth, for its part, threatens to overburden public administrations and undermine the implementation of policies. Our research analyzes the causes and consequences of policy growth and seeks to support public administrations in handling more complex tasks and coping with greater implementation loads.
We conduct our research in a thoroughly comparative manner and with a particular focus on Switzerland.