Josef Philipp Trein

Fields | Projects and contracts |

Research directions

When and why do governments integrate policy sectors? A comparative analysis of eleven countries and four policy areas

Nowadays it is well known amongst political science researchers that governments have delegated authority upwards to the supranational level, downwards to subnational jurisdictions, and sideways to independent regulators and private actors. Whereas the instrumental goal of delegating power is to reduce bureaucracy while improving governance capacity in an increasing complex society and in a globalized economy, delegation also came along with coordination problems, due to the fragmentation of state power. In this context, another emerging strand of research has been referring to a renewed concentration of state power, denominated as joined-up government, or whole-of-government. Especially for pressing problems, such as employment, or immigration, where the downsides of new public management have become apparent, the (re)integration of policy sectors is a key issue. Whilst the literature has already pointed to integration processes and related concepts in single countries, a systematic comparative assessment, especially over time, is still in its beginnings. This project addresses this shortcoming by putting together a research plan that compares the (re)integration of policy sectors (dependent variable) in four issue areas, in eleven countries over a period of 34 years. Specifically, we are going to look at domestic security, environmental policy, immigration and public health. The countries that we are going to compare are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Switzerland, UK, USA, in the time period from 1980 to 2014.

Public policies and sectoral studies

The LAGAPE is also dedicated to the comparative analysis of sectorial public policies, with a particular expertise on health, fiscal, financial, housing, energy, telecommunications, food, research and education policies.

Multilevel governance

The policy studies carried out within the lab are particularly sensitive to the reorganization of decision-making power, in relation to the 'denationalization' of governance. Public policies are analyzed at different levels, ranging from the local to the global levels. For example, research in the LAGAPE deals with subjects such as urban governance, federal systems, European integration and the impact of globalization and Europeanization on national policy. Comparative studies across governmental levels and the scrutiny of their interactions, such as in the cases of metropoles and of cross-border cooperation, are becoming increasingly necessary to capture contemporary policy-making.

Co-Evolution of Public Health and Health Care Systems

Multi-Level Governance in Health Policy

Dynamics of Fiscal Federalism in Times of Crisis

Economic Voting in Times of Crisis

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